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SAD NEWS – But Not Unexpected

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SAD NEWS – But Not Unexpected

When it came, after a few days of warning, the message was sad enough to erase all doubt about the short-term future of university sports in Canada: “It is not currently feasible . . . for USports to be able to offer fall championships.”

Immediately affected by the Monday announcement from President Clint Hamilton were seven sports: women’s field hockey, men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s soccer and of course, football which, thanks basically to the Vanier Cup-champion Calgary Dinos, stands as the highest-profile sport in Canada West universities these days.

Until this week, there was some hope that a five-game schedule – down from the accustomed eight-game slate — could be managed.

After the prompt and understandable responses of sadness and regret for coaches, athletes, trainers and fans tied to 56 programs in four jurisdictions (Quebec is not included at this point), the almost-automatic second response took the form of a question: with arrangements now in place to protect existing scholarships, how will high school seniors and ambitious young men in provincial junior leagues such as the Prairie Conference be affected?

Obviously, prospects who aimed at university careers had their plans put on hold for at least one year. Unless they’re absolute standouts, rookies at the post-secondary level will sand in longer lineups before playing junior in Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg or Saskatoon.

John Paton, executive director of Alberta Sports Athletic Association which oversees high school competition in dozens of categories, said it is not known when classes will resume; negotiations are in almost-constant evolution. Negotiations on scheduling and other essentials will remain unsettled for weeks at least. Many meetings are taking place each week “and some more often than once a week.

“We aren’t moving as fast as the universities did,” he added, confirming that the university decision was “not unexpected.”

One major obstacle was (and is) inter-provincial travel. Saskatchewan has already said visits by out-of-province teams will not be approved ungil the problems of isolation and physical distancing can be handled safely.

As the post-coronavirus world starts to assume some new shape, the ASAA continues to welcome input from every provincial sports organization. Alberta Basketball, for example, has already recommended starting the 2021 season at the normal starting time in late August or early September. Some see it the best way to put the challenging COVID-19 days well into the past.

Decisions on the start of scheduled play and the length of seasons at the high school level are sure to be guided by federal regulation and Alberta Health Services expertise, said Paton said, cautious about any potential  “level of higher risk.”.

Prairie Football Conference spokesmen are equally unsettled in their outlook. Crossing the provincial lines that mark Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba is essential for all teams in that league. Some time ago, one observer suggested that the encouraging coronavirus picture in British Columbia might allow early-fall exhibition meetings between adjacent Alberta and B.C., but those conversations have apparently been put in hold.

Football Alberta spokespersons were not available for comment.

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The Grand Opening is TODAY!

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A Day Filled With Hope – Years in the Making!
For years the CACAC has been walking hand-in-hand with many different partners, community members, donors, policy makers, and leaders in research and advocacy towards this moment.The Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence now stands in the heart of Central Alberta, the first Centre of its kind in North America, creating space for different strategic partners to operate alongside one another in the best interest of children, youths, and families who have experienced any form of abuse.

Now, during this momentous chapter in our history, we invite you to join us for the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence. 

We’re excited to welcome you and your family to the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence today!

Today’s events are family friendly, and there’s something for everyone!

From Noon to 5:00PM the public is welcome to come and see everything the building has to offer at the SKCOE Open House! Staff from every organization from within the SKCOE will be there to answer questions. This is a great opportunity to learn about why this Centre is so important for Central Alberta.

Beginning at 7:00PM, the public is also invited to the formal program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, which is the building immediately North West of us across the parking lot. The formal program will have many messages and presentations from dignitaries, and you can pick up our Champions of Courage pin, which was minted for the Grand Opening only! Following the program there is a ribbon cutting ceremony.

There is a lot to celebrate, so come out and say hi!

When: Thursday, May 16

Where: Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence, and Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, Main Campus of Red Deer Polytechnic, Red Deer, AB.

12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Open House

7:00 PM – Formal Program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to follow.

How to get to the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence

Please note that there will also be parking available at the lot directly North of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

Detailed RDP Parking Map

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