Ridgewater announces decision to suspend winter and spring sports

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette
Redwood Falls Gazette

In the interest of college and community safety with the ongoing pandemic, Ridgewater College has suspended all sports activities for the rest of the academic year. No organized team activities or competitive events will be held for basketball, wrestling, baseball and softball.  

The difficult decision, which impacts about 80 students, was reached by Ridgewater College President Craig Johnson after extensive discussions with the Minnesota State System Office and college stakeholders, as well conducting a college-wide survey to gain feedback.

“It was vital to have feedback from our campus community,” said Johnson. “The primary finding from the survey was the importance of consistency between how we handle instructional delivery and how we handle athletics, and a significant view that athletics is an important part of our college, but it is not equal to our academic programs in terms of importance to our mission.”

In addition to the survey results, other factors were taken into consideration when making the decision.

Johnson noted that athletics is part of student life in the college and the college is not allowing any face-to-face student life activities this year.

The college is also not allowing key in-person events and activities to occur in its academic programs that are important to the program student experience.

“It is important that we align our stance on athletics with our stance on instructional delivery this year,” Johnson said.

Ridgewater Athletic Coordinator Todd Thorstad is disappointed the Warriors won’t compete the remainder of the year.

“We were very optimistic that our teams would be able to play. It was difficult to share the news with our coaches and student athletes last week. Everyone was saddened by the decision," said Thorstad.

Ridgewater hopes to return to a normal year of athletics activities in the 2021-22 academic year.

“Our athletes and coaches are resilient,” Thorstad added. “While COVID-19 may have halted our seasons, we plan to come back even stronger after the pandemic ends.”

- Image courtesy of the Ridgewater College Web site