Tag Archives: cancellations

Spring youth tackle football season officially scrapped for 2020

This year’s spring season of community youth tackle football has been officially cancelled, as a result of health precautions in the fight with the COVID-19 virus.

The Cornwall Wildcats and Glengarry Gaels football clubs broke the news to their players and families, via social media.

Gaels club president Ian Parent stated, “Our spring program was due to start in the next few weeks, but the Ontario Football Alliance has suspended all activities for the month of May, forcing us to cancel our season.”

The club will be processing refunds in the coming weeks for anyone who had previously registered and paid.

Parent added in his announcement, “We will keep you informed of all further developments and are hopeful to be able to field our Varsity [high school] team in the fall. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for possible club events and fundraising activities.”

The Glengarry organization, based at GDHS in Alexandria, typically fields a spring team at each level, providing gridiron football for boys and girls aged 7 through 15.

logos - football

The announcement from the Cornwall Wildcats: “Our Seaway Valley Spring House League was due to start playing games in early May. Registration numbers have been strong, but the Ontario Football Alliance, which is the governing body of football in Ontario, has suspended all football activities in May. THIS NOW FORCES US TO CANCEL THE 2020 SPRING SEASON.”

“We are hopeful for a 2020 NCAFA season. Traditionally try-outs begin in late July, with the season starting third week of August. We will continue to look to Football Canada and Ontario Football Alliance for guidance on start dates.”

Cornwall Wildcats announcement

The Wildcats recommend that athletes “continue to be active and to stay in shape,” adding, “We will be back on the field at some point and we want to be ready! Thank you to CROSSFIT CORNWALL and coach KYLE LABELLE for his great workouts on social media.”

Share this:

Glengarry Highland Games cancelled for 2020

With scheduled summer 2020 Highland Games across the country being cancelled due to COVID-19, it came as little surprise that the plug was pulled on the Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville, as well.

logo

On April 22, the official word came down from Games president Eric Metcalfe, and the Glengarry Highland Games Organizing Committee: “What a wonderful world it would be if we could all be together and celebrate the 2020 Glengarry Highland Games on July 31st and August 1st. However, in light of the current public health crisis and with the deepest concern for all those who might be affected, we will not be presenting the 73rd edition of the Games this summer.”

First held in 1948, the Games have taken place in Maxville each year since, regardless of “sweltering heat and pouring rain and other difficult conditions.” The committee notes that the “unprecedented cancellation reflects the gravity of the world’s situation right now.”

“As upsetting as cancelling this year’s Glengarry Highland Games is…it is very much the right thing to do. I also want to assure you that all the directors and committees will be working hard to produce a spectacular 2021 Games. We look forward to welcoming you back on July 30 and 31, 2021. Please keep checking out our website for updates.”

Eric Metcalfe, Games president

There is no doubt that the thousands of attendees, participants, and competitors who would otherwise be in Maxville this summer are as disappointed as those who had to make the difficult call to cancel.

Ron Graham, who competes in the masters division of the Scottish heavyweights, said he is “very disappointed” about the cancellation of the Maxville Games, adding, “they had to … [and I] understand why they did.”

The Apple Hil resident describes the Glengarry Highland Games as one of the biggest, with “people coming from Scotland, the United States, and all over Canada.” He notes that Montreal’s games, which traditionally follow the event in Maxville, has previously been cancelled too.

“All the athletes probably put on 20 – 30 lb from staying at home isolating.”

Ron Graham

One of the competitors in the open professional class is Jason Baines, who hails from Dalkeith. He told me, “Every single games has been cancelled, including my opener in South Carolina scheduled for April 4.” The athletes also lost the World Masters Championships, slated to be held in Ireland.

“All in all, it is disappointing seeing as I had been preparing for Worlds since late December,” he added. “The flipside is we will have an entire season to get healthy, improve technique, and cut more cabers.”

Another large Highland games festival usually held each summer in Ontario is the Fergus Scottish Festival, which would have celebrated its 75th anniversary this year. Scheduled for August 7-9, its cancellation was also announced this month.

As a result of the cancellation of various games, the Canadian Scottish Athletic Federation also nixed the Canadian Amateur Championships, which were slated to be part of the Campbell River Salmonfest Logger Sports Competitions and Highland Gathering, and the Canadian Open Championships, scheduled for the Montreal games.

As Baines puts it, “Right now we are crossing fingers that we can throw in September, in Calgary or Quebec City,” where Highland Games competitions are still on the schedule.

Share this:

Junior C lacrosse season scrapped due to COVID-19 concerns

The Ontario Junior ‘C’ Lacrosse League has announced that there will be no 2020 season, meaning the region’s team, the Cornwall Celtics, won’t see any action this year.

logo

In the April 17 statement, the OJCLL wrote, the league “is saddened to announce the cancellation of the 2020 junior ‘C’ lacrosse season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The OJCLL held an online meeting featuring representatives from the league’s 17 teams, with the focus on the “safety of players, staff, officials, and fans, as well as arena availability.”

League commissioner Reg Holinshead noted, “The physical nature of lacrosse, along with the reality of locker rooms, showers, buses, and even spectator seating, made it impossible for us to envision a way that we could responsibly begin play anytime soon. Arena availability was also a concern, with two clubs unable to take the floor until at least August 1, and many others without homes until July at the earliest. This was a really tough decision for our league because, like our players and fans, we would love to be in arenas thinking about goals, saves, and hits – not sick relatives, social distancing, and economic uncertainty. Unfortunately, that just wasn’t realistic, and we needed to put the health of our players, staff, officials, and fans first.”

Players aged 17-21 participate in the junior ‘C’ lacrosse league which was slated to open its 13th season April 24 in Oakville. The OJCLL features 17 teams from Ontario and Quebec, with newcomers Orangeville and Six Nations slated to begin play this year.

“The lacrosse community has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have players who have lost family members to this awful disease, fans who are out of work, and sponsors that have closed their doors. It’s a terrible situation, and our thoughts are with all those who have been affected. On behalf of all 17 of our teams, I want to wish everyone involved with the league good health and safety as we navigate through these troubling times,” Holinshead added.

The OJCLL, which is “the stepping stone for Canada’s game,” plans to continue working “closely with the Ontario and Canadian Lacrosse Associations regarding the 2021 season and the impact of this year’s cancellation on players.”

Locally, Celtics general manager Vicky Tait broke the news to her players and team supporters: “It is with great regret that I share this news. I’m sure our Celtic community will be deeply saddened but also understand the importance and necessity of our league decision.”

Share this:

2020 Maxville Fair cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Locally, concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic continue to have an impact upon scheduled events and activities. The latest to be cancelled is the 2020 edition of the Maxville Fair.

Traditionally, the Maxville Fair kicks off the summer season of rural fairs across the region. This year, it was scheduled to run June 26-28.

Amongst the activities on the agenda was a showcase of youth minor football, on Friday evening under the lights in front of the grandstand. In past years, this evening of the gridiron game has featured two matches involving teams from the Cornwall Wildcats and Glengarry Gaels programs. Some years have also included the United Counties Warriors or Russell Timberwolves. For the kids, this is a thrilling experience, with announcers calling the game live, while a roaming field reporter interviews players.

On April 15, the Maxville Fair board of directors made the decision official to nix the 2020 edition:

“With regret, we announce that the Maxville Fair for 2020 is cancelled.”

Maxville Fair board of directors

The announcement went on to say, “In this time of uncertainty, for the protection of our volunteers and for the protection of our community, the Board of Directors of the Maxville Fair wishes to advise the 2020 Maxville Fair is officially cancelled. This was not an easy decision and was made after much consideration, discussion, and anxiety.”

The board added, “We thank everyone for their support over the past years, and we look forward to planning the 2021 Maxville fair.”

notice
Share this:

EOSSAA cancels spring sports calendar

Following on the heels of OFSAA’s cancellation of all provincial spring tournaments, the regional body for high school sports, EOSSAA, has done the same.

announcement

The announcement simply makes official what seemed inevitable, given the COVID-19 pandemic and near shutdown of the province, including the closure of all schools until at least early May.

To read my story on the OFSAA announcement, please see this post.

Share this:

OFSAA announces cancellation of all provincial spring sports tournaments

All high school Ontario-wide championships scheduled for this spring under the auspices of OFSAA have been cancelled, as the organization announced today.

Our region typically has athletes competing at the provincial track and field championships, and often we have a team or two battling in soccer as well, but this year that won’t happen.

The Glengarry Gaels boys soccer team won OFSAA gold in 2019, triumphing at the tournament held in Ancaster, while the girls from Le Relais captured silver, also in Ancaster.

soccer players at OFSAA
Gaels and Rapides at 2019 OFSAA soccer banquet

Gaels boys team head coach Glen Campbell told me in February that he had 13 team members back this year from last season’s provincial championship squad. The boys had been conducting informal sessions during lunch breaks prior to the March Break and ensuing shutdown of schools due to COVID-19.

With the cancellation of the provincial competitions this year, Glengarry will have to wait another season to try to defend its title.

In the March 31 announcement from the OFSAA president, Nick Rowe stated, “As we continue to cope in these challenging times with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is with great disappointment that we announce Tuesday the cancellation of the remaining 2020 spring OFSAA championships and festivals.

“On behalf of the OFSAA Executive Council and all of our staff, we are thankful for the commitment and passion of all student-athletes, coaches, convenors, and volunteer host organizing committees to this point in the school year. Volunteers are the driving force in the planning efforts and execution of these events. A sincere thank you to each and every one of the volunteers across the province.

“As we endure this uncertain coronavirus health crisis, OFSAA will continue to follow the direction of public health experts and government agencies.

“We eagerly look forward to when we can safely get back to the classroom and when sport returns to our school communities.

“Stay safe and healthy.”

This year’s boys ‘A’ soccer tournament was scheduled to be held in London, while the girls event was slated for Perth. Track and field was booked for Toronto.

At this stage, there is no confirmation on when or if high school sports will resume locally.

Share this:

RRCA cancels 2020 Raisin River Canoe Race

For only the second time since 1973, the Raisin River Canoe Race has been cancelled. The 2020 edition was nixed due to COVID-19 precautions, following the recommendations of health officials.

The annual rite of spring, hosted by the Raisin Region Conservation Authority, typically takes place in April each year, when the spring water flow in the river is at its peak. This year, it had been slated for April 19. The 30 km run from St. Andrews West downstream to Williamstown traditionally sees well over 100 canoes and kayaks involved, with participants coming from across the region. Some paddlers come for the competition, striving for fast times and medals, while the majority are looking to complete the course without getting too wet and cold. Spills are common, especially at points where there are challenging rocks in the river and rapids. As well, the dam in Martintown is a special part of the race, with many paddlers opting to attempt to shoot it successfully, much to the delight of throngs of spectators who gather there to take in the action.

notice
RRCA notice

The last (and only other) cancellation, in 2010, was due to very low water conditions.

Results from past years can be viewed on the RRCA website here.

Share this:

Char-Lan Skating Club abruptly ends season due to township rink closure

With South Glengarry announcing the closure of all recreation facilities for the next three weeks due to COVID-19 concerns, the Char-Lan Skating Club was forced to abruptly end its season, with means the cancellation of this year’s showcase event, which had been scheduled for March 29, at the arena in Williamstown.

Reportedly, the ice-making machine at the rink will be turned off this weekend.

The club has cancelled, as a result, all remaining skating days, in addition to the annual showcase, which skaters had been preparing for under the theme, ‘Ice, Camera, Action.’ The event is traditionally held at the end of each skating season, with stands packed full of family members and friends, as all athletes from the club skate in group performances.

Here’s the club’s official announcement:

announcement
Char-Lan Skating Club announcement regarding COVID-19

The skating club says it plans to hold a small awards ceremony at a later date. In years past, awards have been presented to skaters on the ice, following the performances.

Assessment Day

Recently, the skating club held its assessment day for competitive skaters.

skaters
Char-Lan Skating Club photo

From the club’s Facebook post: “A huge shout out to the Township of South Glengarry for all their hard work and support in preparing our facility and ice surface for this special day, and to our Assessment Coordinator and wonderful CLSC families for organizing a fun-filled after-party for all.”

Share this:

UCDSB cancels high school sports citing CUPE work-to-rule

Abruptly on Monday, the Upper Canada District School Board announced a cessation of all sports, along with other extra-curricular activities, field trips, and community use of school facilities, citing work-to-rule job action taking by educational support staff who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

The English public school board is the only local board to date to take such action.

According to the board’s announcement, “CUPE represents several UCDSB employee groups including educational assistants (EAs), early childhood educators (ECEs), custodial/maintenance staff, clerical staff (including school office staff), library workers, and information technology staff.”

The statement goes on to say that schools remain open and classes continue as scheduled. The explanation in cancelling everything beyond regular classes is “to ensure the safety and proper supervision of students.”

Our core mission is to educate students in a safe environment. We are confident that even under this work-to-rule campaign, your child will remain safe in our schools and their learning will not be interrupted.

Please know that this job action is in response to the status of bargaining at the provincial level and affects school boards across Ontario. Locally, we are engaged in bargaining with all employee groups and conversations are progressing.

UCDSB press release – 2019/09/29

Disruption to the school year wasn’t unexpected, given the approach the Doug Ford Conservative government has taken to education, teachers, and associated unions. In addition to CUPE, unions representing teachers, including ETFO and OSSTF, could take workplace action in the weeks ahead, though bargaining for new contracts is said to be continuing. A good summary of the status of these matters can be found here.

Getting back to the local sports scene, high school football convenor Mitch Zappitelli officially announced on Monday that all scheduled games “involving Glengarry, Tagwi, and CCVS will be postponed.” The Gaels were 1-1 in action thus far, while the Warriors had yet to play, with their previously slated contests already postponed for other reasons. The Raiders were 0-1.

Glengarry Gaels club president Ian Parent took to the club’s Facebook page, announcing, “Our scheduled game for Friday, October 4 [versus CCVS] will be postponed, and practices for this week have been cancelled. We are hoping for a quick resolution and are following the situation closely.”

The impact isn’t just on students, as the Township of South Glengarry has announced the cancellation of its pickleball and badminton programs at Char-Lan District High School “until further notice.”

The understanding is that the UCDSB cancellations are, at this time, on a week-to-week basis.

UCDSB logo

Update: The UCDSB posted a Letter to Parents late this afternoon, explaining the board’s rationale. The document can be viewed in its entirety here.

Share this: