The AUD Knights have postponed all their intercollegiate competitions due to safety measures amid the pandemic.
“For this semester, all tournaments and matches will be postponed since our students’ safety comes first,” said Joseph Nohra, AUD Athletics Manager.
The intercollegiate sport competitions have been suspended in the United Arab Emirates ever since the Covid-19 outbreak first forced the universities to transition to online learning in March 2020. And no one can say when the competitions will start again.
“We still try our best to keep communications active between the sports staff and our athletes. We have WhatsApp groups for every team, and we ensure to keep checking in on each other and making sure everyone is feeling healthy, both physically and mentally,” said Nohra.
AUD has a number of highly competitive intercollegiate teams for men and women in basketball, volleyball, swimming, tennis and soccer.
“Its really weird, you know. I left my family back home to come here for a volleyball scholarship, only to have Covid force me to stop playing,” said Uros Lalic, 22, a Serbian student playing for the AUD volleyball team on full scholarship.
“I still train alone, to the best of my ability in these circumstances. The AUD Athletics team also tries their best to organize safe practices for us, but with the number of Covid cases constantly increasing, it keeps getting harder,” he said. “I try to stay as healthy as possible until everything goes back to normal, but for the time, I feel like I have a purpose to be here, but I can’t fulfill it.”
When asked why he didn’t go back home, Lalic responded saying that the circumstances are very day to day. “You never know when the university is going to allow us back to campus. I can’t decide to go back home and go through all the traveling precautions here and quarantine in Serbia, to later find out that we have to come back to classes in person.”
Another student shared his feelings about the current situation. “I don’t think people understand how hard it is being told you’re not allowed to play the sport you love,” said Youssef Ismail, 21, a Lebanese student on the AUD football team. “I miss being on the field with my teammates and training with our coaches.”