(City of Oak Ridge News Release) In light of the recent spread of COVID-19 (commonly known as the “coronavirus”) throughout the continental United States, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has decided to exercise extreme caution and suspend all future athletic events. Mark Emmert, NCAA President, along with the NCAA Board of Governors has cancelled March Madness and all other NCAA Winter and Spring championships. This includes NCAA Women’s Rowing events which were to be held in Oak Ridge in May.
Additionally, the cancellation of this event has a significant and direct impact upon the City of Oak Ridge, as this decision has resulted in the cancellation of the NCAA Division I II III Women’s Rowing Championships, Big 10 Invitational Regatta, Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championship, as well as other regattas slated to be held in conjunction with the Oak Ridge Rowing Association (ORRA).
The Oak Ridge Rowing Association is working tirelessly in an effort to bring these events back to the city next year while ensuring that ORRA will stay open for Atomic Athletes and spring training teams. Some training camps will be offered in the coming months to offset rowing activities. Mayor Gooch notes the “significant economic impacts” these cancellations will have on the city and is deeply saddened by the decision to cancel these events.
Mayor Gooch notes, “The City of Oak Ridge and Oak Ridge Rowing Association will work together to ensure that these events are brought back to the city as soon as possible and that the City of Oak Ridge remains “Ready
to offer its facilities and hospitality to the rowing community.”
The Mayor would also like to reassure citizens that the City of Oak Ridge is prepared, should the impact of COVID-19 reach the city, and that all appropriate flu and virus protocols are being rigorously followed.