Queen’s set to host 2022 U Sports Women’s Basketball National Championships

How Claire Meadows and her team are preparing for the first-time honour

Queen's to host in March of next year.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

For the first time in its history, Queen’s is set to host the U Sports Championships for Women’s Basketball.

To learn more about what this distinction means for Queen’s and the Women’s Basketball program, The Journal reached out to Claire Meadows, head coach of the team.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to showcase our high-performance athletic facilities, and, of course, our world-class campus to the basketball community,” Meadows said in an interview with The Journal.

“I know our athletics department has done an unbelievable job transforming the ARC into one of the best facilities in Canada.”

Originally slated to host in 2021, Queen’s was ultimately unable to preside over the last national tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meadows, who was appointed head coach of the Women’s Basketball last May, is particularly set on this upcoming opportunity, which will occur in March 2022.

“It feels like it’s been a long time coming,” Meadows said. “When I first found out, I thought, ‘there’s no better place to host a National Championship.’”

Though the team has felt the impacts of the pandemic, they’ve been determined to maintain their resiliency and play through any difficulties that may arise this season. According to Meadows, the athletes of the program have maintained a positive mindset throughout a year of interruptions, something they intend to carry into the National Championships.

Once a player herself, Meadows recognizes the importance of playing a tournament of this scale on a familiar court.

“[It’s] a tremendous honour for our student-athletes to be able to participate in such an event on their home court, so I’m really excited for them to have that opportunity.”

Meadows cites previous head coach Dave Wilson—who lead the team for 39 years—as vital in reshaping the program and making it what it is today.

“Within the last 10-plus years, this program has been incredibly competitive, and it just speaks to the commitment that Dave and his coaching staff had to excellence,” Meadows explained.

According to Meadows, veteran leadership and team chemistry will be key to success for the team heading into the 2022 Championships.

“We want to be the best team on the floor,” she said. “We want to be playing at our best by the time National Championships come around.”

With powerhouses like previous 2020 National Champions—the University of Saskatchewan Huskies— looming large, the team is set on treating every game as a big game.

“We’re not picking and choosing, we’re just approaching each game as a game where we have to be at our best,” Meadows said.

Though hosting the tournament adds some pressure, Meadows is determined to focus on the now going into the upcoming season.

“If we can focus on what we need to do right now, the hope is that we’ll hopefully flow into Nationals with not as much pressure on us,” she said. “We can only control what we can control, and if we keep that mindset and stay focused on our effort and our attitude each and every day, then that will hopefully take care of the pressure.”

It’s still uncertain if students will be able to attend the National Championships in person. With the regular season still yet to be played, there is no official word on what COVID-19 restrictions will be in place for the tournament when it’s held in March.

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