Ridgewater College suspends winter and spring sports seasons

There will be no spring or winter sports at Ridgewater College this school year. The college does not allow most in-person meetings related to academics or student activities. Sports may resume in fall 2021.

The Ridgewater Foundation will be offering COVID relief grants to eligible students, funded by a CPR grant from the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission. Kelly Boldan / West Central Tribune file photo

WILLMAR โ€” Ridgewater College has suspended all sports activities for the rest of the school year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The suspension of winter and spring sports will affect about 80 students in basketball, wrestling, baseball and softball, according to a news release from the college Monday morning. The school, with campuses in Willmar and Hutchinson, hopes to resume normal athletics activities in fall 2021.

College President Craig Johnson made the decision after discussions with officials from the Minnesota State system of public colleges and universities and after a college-wide survey.

โ€œIt was vital to have feedback from our campus community,โ€ he said in the news release. โ€œThe 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.โ€

The college is not allowing any other face-to-face student life activities this year or in activities related to academic programs.


โ€œIt is important that we align our stance on athletics with our stance on instructional delivery this year,โ€ Johnson said.

Ridgewater Athletic Coordinator Todd Thorstad said in the release that he had been optimistic teams would be able to play, and coaches and athletes were disappointed by the decision.

โ€œOur athletes and coaches are resilient,โ€ Thorstad noted. โ€œWhile COVID-19 may have halted our seasons, we plan to come back even stronger after the pandemic ends.โ€

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