OTTAWA, June 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Civil Liberties Association
(CCLA) is urging the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) to
drop a discriminatory practice that limits the participation of
international student athletes in varsity sports.
"The CCLA opposes unfair discrimination against non-citizens in all
areas of law," said Nathalie Des Rosiers, general Counsel for the
Association. "We are particularly concerned because later this week,
the CCAA will be considering a motion to extend this discriminatory
measure and further limit the participation of international students
in collegiate varsity sports".
The CCAA is the governing body for collegiate varsity sports in Canada.
For the last twenty years it has enforced a policy limiting the number of international students per team - two for basketball and
volleyball, and three in soccer. The policy is being reviewed at its
Annual Conference in Montreal this week and members will be asked to
vote on a motion to extend the restrictions to a number of other
varsity sports, including badminton, golf and curling.
The CCLA was alerted to this situation by Holland College of PEI. The
college has been pushing to have this policy reversed for several
years, arguing that it is contrary to the values of inclusion and
participation that are a core element of their brand and that it hurts
its ability to recruit internationally.
"At Holland College, we recruit international students from several
markets, including the Caribbean and the northeastern United States,"
said Michael O'Grady, Holland College Vice President, Innovation,
Enterprise & Strategic Development.
"But time and again, we hear from prospective students -- and often
their friends and family--that restrictions on varsity sports are a
negative factor in their consideration of joining our school. At a time
when Canadian educational institutions are intent on increasing
international student numbers, this discriminatory policy adversely
affects our country's reputation as a welcoming post-secondary
Last year the college had written to the Minister of Amateur Sport
urging him to use his good offices to have the policy withdrawn.
The CCLA has written to all college presidents and their athletic
directors urging them to vote to eliminate discriminatory policy in
favour of an even playing field for all student athletes.
SOURCE: Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA)
For further information:
Massimo Bergamini, 613 290 5317 (cell)
Nathalie Des Rosiers, CCLA, firstname.lastname@example.org
416 363 03231, ext. 230 or 613 314 5902 (cell)
Michael O'Grady, Holland College, 902 393 2125 (cell)