May 20th, 2024

Canada West cancels championships

By LETHBRIDGE HERALD on December 18, 2020.

The Canada West swimming and track and field championships are the latest COVID-19 casualties, while a decision on curling is pending.

Canada West announced Thursday the cancellation of its 2020-21 swimming and track and field championship and deferred a decision on the 2020-21 curling championships to a later date.

Calgary was slated to host the swimming championships, while Manitoba was scheduled to host the track and field championships.

The conference’s 17 members formally made the decision to cancel the two championships and defer a decision on curling following recommendations from the CW Board of Directors.

“Unfortunately, it’s another difficult decision that our members have had to make,” said Canada West president Curtis Atkinson in a release. “Cancelling any competition, including championships, is not a decision that is taken lightly. We understand and share the disappointment from everyone involved in these sports and hope that today’s announcement provides clarity for our student-athletes and coaches.”

The COVID-19 Task Force, comprised of Canda West athletic directors and medical professionals, has continued to monitor and evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on student-athlete competition in order to provide information to the Canada West Board of Directors for it to make its recommendations.

The Board subsequently recommended to members the cancellation of the 2020-21 swimming and track and field Championships based on a number of factors including ensuring the health and safety of student-athletes and others, high COVID-19 community transition numbers across western Canada, the shutdown of competitive sport competition and facilities in both Manitoba and Alberta , limitations of inter-provincial travel for sport and financial impediments to competition due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols, including heightened travel costs

Curling is the lone remaining Canada West championship to potentially still be awarded in 2021.

The Saville Community Sports Centre at the University of Alberta in Edmonton is scheduled to host the event in March. The Canada West COVID-19 Task Force and CW Board of Directors will continue to monitor the situation across the conference’s four provinces before making a final recommendation on the curling championships for the members to vote on at the conference’s February meeting.

The conference had previously cancelled Canada West fall team competition June 8, its golf championships due to travel restrictions on Sept. 22 and the remaining winter team competitions on Oct. 15.

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