Tag Archives: COVID19

North Glengarry announces reopening plans for arenas, recreation facilities, programs

The Township of North Glengarry is planning to gradually reopen sports and recreation facilities and resume recreation programming, beginning for most this month

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The arena at the Glengarry Sports Palace will be the first of the townships two rinks to see ice and usage. The target date to begin ice rentals is October 7.

As for the ice at the Maxville rink, that is being delayed until “ice demands increase… In the interim of the ice reopening at the Maxville & District Sports Complex, staff will be preparing activity spaces and enhanced programming on the arena floor for use by the public.”

The dome in Alexandria partially reopened on August 24 (track and tennis/pickleball courts). “At the present time users are required to arrive dressed for their activity and to bring their own personal equipment due to COVID-19 guidelines.”

Reservations can be made by e-mail to programcoordinator@northglengarry.ca

Parks continue to remain open, with green spaces and play equipment available for use.

Community halls across township are now open for rental, to a maximum of 50 attendees. For more information, send an e-mail to recreation@northglengarry.ca

Recreation programming, too, is gradually returning, starting with yoga at the Glengarry Sports Palace, set to begin October 5.

“During this gradual reopening period, the township will be working with individuals and various sports organizations that use these facilities to ensure that the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s guidelines are being followed. The goal is to allow the public to have access to the township’s facilities in a controlled and safe manner. The township is confident that residents will abide by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the sports organizations’ directives; however, if violations are observed by staff, these may result in the closure of the facility for the day or for longer.

The safety of our residents is of the utmost importance for the Township. Play safe!

Township of North Glengarry media release

Complete information on facilities can be found on the township’s website here. Details on programs can be found here.

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GSL hoping for 2020-21 indoor season

This week, the Glengarry Soccer League announced that it is planning for a 2020-21 indoor season, the kick off sometime this fall.

Last winter’s indoor campaign came to an abrupt halt in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially a suspension, the season’s remaining action, including playoffs, was eventually cancelled. Subsequently, the GSL was forced to cancel summer outdoor minor soccer, summer outdoor adult soccer, and regional youth competitive soccer (Hearts teams).

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GSL announcement on Facebook

As of posting this story, the league’s website had not been updated, still displaying information to register for the now-cancelled summer outdoor season.

The GSL has been limited by health and safety guidelines imposed by the league’s sanctioning body, the Ontario Soccer Association.

Under the OSA outline, as of September 17, leagues are now permitted play within a region (We are part of the east region, EODSA), with modified games (e.g. no throw-ins, limited handling of the ball) and training. In the case of indoor soccer, per government guidelines, a maximum of 50 people can be in the facility at any one time.

For the full, updated OSA guidelines, please see this link.

As the GSL notes, Stay Tuned!

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CCHL aims for October 1 return to play

The region’s junior ‘A’ hockey league is aiming to begin its 2020-21 season on October 1, pending approval of its return-to-play plan by local health authorities.

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In a media statement issued September 4, the commissioner of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), Kevin Abrams, announced that his league, using the Hockey Eastern Ontario return-to-play plan as a guide, has been working with “four regional health units and ten municipalities through our twelve member teams” to formulate a path forward for hockey to resume.

The plan includes “modified play in pre-season” to begin October 1 for all teams, including the Hawkesbury Hawks and Cornwall Colts.

“In these uniquely challenging times, I must thank our member teams, the players and parents participating in the current programs, as well as the HEO RTP Task Team, the HEO Board and Staff, and the 4 local health units and facilities in the 10 municipalities that are home to the CCHL, for their support and patience as we work through these unprecedented times together.”

Kevin Abrams, commissioner of the CCHL

The 2019-20 CCHL season was abruptly halted in March, following instructions from Hockey Canada to suspend play due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The league had just begun its playoffs, which included the Hawks, the second-place team from the Yzerman Division. The Colts didn’t qualify for the post-season, ending the campaign fifth in the division.

In preparation for the hoped puck drop on a new season, teams are spending this month engaged in training, skills development, and evaluation. Upon approval of the CCHL plan for the pre-season, Abrams will “submit a similar proposal for the commencement of the CCHL regular season in the ensuing weeks.”

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Alexandria Curling Club requests input on return-to-play plans

As other local clubs have, the Alexandria Curling Club is looking for input from members on return-to-play plans for the coming season.

The club has an online survey available here.

The survey includes questions about what would encourage you to return to curling this year and what protocols should be in place to mitigate risks associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Club executive intend to use the feedback to facilitate their planning. Further to that, the club’s annual general meeting is scheduled for Sunday, September 13, with limited in-person seating available (by prior arrangement with president Duncan Ferguson). The meeting will also be available for online participation.

For more information, please see their Facebook page here.

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Hockey Canada fall 2020 cancellations include international event slated for Cornwall

The World Junior A Hockey Challenge tournament was scheduled to be held in December but has now been cancelled as part of Hockey Canada’s suspension of events booked for fall 2020.

It would have been the 15th annual edition of the international hockey tournament that features tier 2 junior ‘A’ teams from hockey-dominant countries. Traditionally, Canada has two entries, and local players have featured on past squads.

The 2020 event had been scheduled for December 13-19 with games to be played at the Cornwall Civic Complex.

According to the Hockey Canada release, organizers will be looking to reschedule the event to December 2021.

Other cancelled tournaments are the national women’s under-18 championship, set for November in B.C., and the para hockey cup, booked for December in Nova Scotia.

From the announcement, “Hockey Canada’s priority remains the health and safety of all participants and the general public. We believe the decision to cancel these events is the safest decision given the ongoing uncertainty of the [COVID-19] pandemic at the local level, as well as the international implications associated with these events.”

Here it the full press release:

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Media release from Hockey Canada regarding events cancelled for fall 2020.
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AAA hockey focuses on development, as league play remains on hold

It may be summer, but some hockey players returned to the ice this month, including members of the Eastern Ontario Wild ‘AAA’ organization, which has been holding development sessions as league play remains uncertain.

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The major bantam ‘AAA’ Eastern Ontario Wild are holding on-ice training sessions, under the direction of head coach Carl Robillard (Yes, he is also head coach of the junior ‘B’ Alexandria Glens).

Under current Hockey Canada guidelines and health authority restrictions, Eastern Ontario’s ‘AAA’ hockey league is allowing clubs to conduct “conditioning and development sessions throughout August [to conclude] with an invitation to 17-22 players per age group to form a bubble starting in September.”

According to the plan for the Eastern Ontario Wild club, “This bubble will then continue development until such time as HEO (and other authorities having jurisdiction) allow five-on-five traditional programming. The range of 17-22 participants is based on the maximum allowable on-ice participants in the various facilities in HEO territory. The E.O. Wild does not have the capacity to develop more players per level due to facility restrictions and availability of ice in the region.”

The objective of the bubble program will be to focus on continued development of players this fall until such time as regular game play is permitted.

The Wild ices teams at the major bantam (now officially being called U15), minor bantam (U14), and major peewee (U13). Coaches, respectively, are Carl Robillard, Chris Martin, and Dave Byrne. The club draws players from Cornwall, Akwesasne, Glengarry, Prescott-Russell, Cumberland, and Russell.

Moving forward, the club aims to hold, once traditional programming is permitted to resume, “a coordinated tryout open to all players, including those not part of the player E.O. Wild bubbles, to create our rostered teams.”

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Jr. ‘A’ Hawks hold training camp, announce new goalie signing

Fresh off last weekend’s 2020-21 season training camp in Hawkesbury, the Hawks have announced the signing of a new goaltender.

Dominic Lamarche
Dominic Lamarche has joined Hawkesbury’s junior ‘A’ hockey team as an assistant coach. (submitted photo)

The club inked 20-year-old Kirkland native Thomas Gale, who was recently named NCDC goaltender of the year for the 2019-20 season. The backstop is also an NCAA Division 1 commit, slated to play at Holy Cross (Worcester, Massachusetts) starting with the 2021-22 season.

With the Boston Jr. Bruins last winter, the netminder posted a 2.38 goals-against average on 41 games.

The Hawks also recently announced an addition to their coaching crew, as Dominic Lamarche joined the club in the capacity of an assistant coach.

A local businessman, Lamarche has been coaching for the past seven years and formerly played in the CCHL. He’s a Hawks alumnus.

Rick Dorval returns as head coach and general manager.

On his signing of goaltender Gale, Dorval says, “I’ve been tracking Tommy for two years now. The way he reads puck coming off the opponent’s sticks [and] the way he plays the puck are beyond his years. Furthermore, his compete level will bring some leadership to this group. The opportunity to bring in a goalie with this experience and ability for the Fred Page Cup is going to be a big push for our program.”

It’s been tough for the squad to get back on the ice this summer, due to the COVID-19 situation. The club’s development camp was scrapped, while training camp was delayed until last weekend, operating under current Hockey Canada and health authority restrictions.

While teams across the region’s junior ‘A’ league have been busy with behind-the-scenes preparations and training camps, there remains uncertainty as to when/if the puck will actually drop on the 2020-21 campaign. At last check, the CCHL was looking at an October start, delaying its opening by a month. Currently, Hockey Canada guidelines and health authority regulations bar any inter-club play.

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EOSSAA officially cancels fall 2020 sports championships

Following on the heels of an announcement by OFSAA that cancelled all provincial high school sports championships for fall 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the region’s sports body announced the cancellation of all EOSSAA event for fall 2020 as well.

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EOSSAA fall 2020 cancellation announcement

Traditionally, the fall schedule of high school sports championships includes cross-country running, girls basketball, boys volleyball, football, and golf.

I have more background, including details on the earlier provincial announcement, in this post.

As for the possibility of any form of sports at schools this fall, I am told that inter-board events definitely will not be happening. There is a possibility of some activities within a board, but it is more likely that sports will only take place in a limited form within individual schools.

The UCDSB, for example, in its return-to-school document states, “Inter-school sports will not be occurring at this time. Schools may, however, offer co-curricular (such as some intramural sports activities), if cohorting requirements can be maintained and physical distancing is possible. Areas that are used must be able to be cleaned between cohorts.”

The region’s English Catholic board, the CDSBEO, notes in its document, “Sports continue to be on hold until the Ministry of Education, in consultation with public health authorities, indicate that it is safe for sports to resume.” However, the board adds that it recognizes sports to be an “integral part of the school experience for many students” and will aim to “resume sports and extracurricular activities that can safely continue based on input from the Ministry of Education and local public medical officers of health.”

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Reflecting on a hall of fame celebration that could have been

Traditionally at the time of year in the county, we would be getting ready to celebrate the latest crop of inductees to the Glengarry Sports Hall of Game, but alas, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that isn’t happening.

Back in May, the hall announced its 2020 inductees (You can read my story about the five honourees here) but at the same time revealed plans to delay the induction ceremony.

The five inductees – Barb Benton, Glen Campbell, Heather MacLeod, Michael Robertson, and Corey Van Loon – from this year will officially be recognized at a celebration next year, scheduled for August 18, 2021, in Maxville.

I am told that there will be no additional inductees next year, as there are no plans to make the 2021 event a double bill.

The hall typically publishes biographies of each of the inductees in the lead-up to the event, and these articles are scheduled to be revealed the the public next spring.

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It’s official: there will be no 2020 CFL season

On the heels of an announcement that our federal government would not provide an interest-free loan to the Canadian Football League in order to pave the way to an abbreviated 2020 season to be held in Winnipeg, the CFL today officially announced there will be no games this year and that they will now focus on 2021.

The cancellation of yet another league’s football season adds to the list this year, as one-by-one associations have cancelled play due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Locally, as previously reported on this website, we have seen the cancellation of spring youth football, the province-wide OFC league, and NCAFA (fall tackle football). Nationally, university football has pre-emptively been cancelled in three of four associations (Ontario, West, and Atlantic).

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“The Canadian Football League is shifting its focus to 2021 and beyond after deciding not to play a shortened season this Fall.”

CFL announcement, 17 August 2020

The CFL’s commissioner, Randy Ambrosie, was quoted in the league’s announcement, saying, “Our league governors decided today it is in the best long-term interests of the CFL to concentrate on the future. We are absolutely committed to 2021, to the future of our league, and the pursuit of our vision of a bigger, stronger, more global CFL.”

The CFL’s key point of revenue generation is ticket sales, so that means fans in the seats, something that isn’t in the cards for this year. The league had been exploring a plan to play all games in Winnipeg, without fans in attendance, and was looking for some help from the federal government, in the form of a loan to do so. Word came out over the weekend that the loan application had been rejected.

Eastern Ontario’s entry in the CFL, the Ottawa RedBlacks, announced on Twitter, “Our sights are now set on the 2021 Season. Nous regardons maintenant vers la saison 2021.”

On a positive note, there are plans locally for some football, though, as the Cornwall Wildcats have put together a fall flag football program for youth.

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