KITCHENER -- There will be no winter sports for secondary students this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Waterloo County Secondary School Athletic Association (WCSSAA) announced it would be canceling the winter season for 2020-21.

The association said the decision was to follow direction from the Ministry of Education and public health officials to minimize contact between students.

"We acknowledge how disappointing this news will be for students and families," the WCSSAA said in a release. "We recognize the important role that inter-school athletics play in the life of our students’ educational and social experience at school."

The WCSSAA said it hopes to return to school sports as soon as possible.

Officials haven't decided if there will be a spring season in 2021.