By Justin Seward
It is that time of year where it’s playoff time for local sports teams in the region.
However, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, local sporting events including minor hockey playoffs and high school provincial or zone tournaments have been cancelled, while a skating club carnival was closed to the public.
“The update is the hockey season is over basically is the direction we’ve received from Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada that there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Chantel Timmons, Bow Island Minor Hockey president.
“… It’s sort of very quickly put a wrap on everything. All of our Hockey Alberta provincials are cancelled, the same as school basketball and all of that stuff. We’re not suppose to be hosting practices for teams or anything of that nature.”
Timmons says she has received emails from the zone discipline and sanction representative saying that he was cancelling all of the game permits that the teams previously received.
“It’s unfortunate,” she said.
“I know we have had success on some of our teams and some of our teams were set to potentially head to provincials here in two weeks and they’re very disappointed. I mean you look at it as overall public and player safety. I guess in the end it is probably for the best. It’s just really heartbreaking for these kids.”
The Foremost School senior girls basketball were in the midst of competing at zones in Lethbridge last week in hopes of taking one of the two spots at 1A provincials in Bow Island.
School vice principal Dana Marshall penned a heartfelt message to the team on the school’s Facebook page.
“To our senior girls basketball Team, their parents, coaches and loved ones:
I’ve been trying to put the words together to express how saddened I am of the news of the cancelled season,” said Marshall.
“This is a heartbreak for all of you, with the countless hours you’ve put into your training, travelling to games, planning and preparation. This heartbreak is being experienced by every athlete, professional or amateur across the globe. As you go through the coming days, don’t forget to consider all the of the good you have experienced by being such a great team. Your teamwork, memories, work ethic and more that has helped to shape who you are now, and who you will become. Hold your heads high, ladies. You’ve done us proud. We love you.”
Scott Angle, Senator Gershaw principal, took time to thank those people who volunteered a lot of hours in preparation for the seniors girls 1A basketball provincials that were supposed to be played in Bow Island later this week.
“From the directive of the Alberta Schools Athletic Association (ASAA) all zone and provincial championships are postponed indefinitely,” said Angle in a statement through email.
“Senator Gershaw would like to thank those who volunteered countless hours in preparation for 2020 1A Girls Basketball Provincial Championships. Although it is with disappointment that we can not currently host currently host the tournament, the health and safety of all athletes and spectators is a priority and at this time it is important to listen to the direction from our Chief Medical Officer of Health.
“ Senator Gershaw would like to congratulate the teams across the province who practiced and played hard all season for the opportunity represent their zone and school in a Provincial Championship. Thank you to Senator Gershaw students, staff and parents as well as the Bow Island community for their efforts in the coordination for this year’s tournament.
Businesses or the clubs that donated to the tournament will be contacted this week.
The Bow Island Figure Skating Club’s year-end carnival was closed to the public on Sunday afternoon.
The Guns and Hoses (team make up of local EMS) versus the Bow Island /Foremost midget charity game went ahead on Saturday night in Foremost. All the proceeds from the 50/50, food and liquor sales went to HALO.
The Bow Island Curling Club’s junior bonspiel was cancelled later this month as well as the Foremost Skating Club’s carnival on March 19.