- COVID-19 outbreak fears forced the cancellation of a youth hockey tournament that would have drawn twenty teams to Oakbank.
- The association president, Cory Nakamura, told CTV News that no instances had been linked to the hockey league.
COVID-19 transmission fears forced the cancellation of a youth hockey tournament that would have drawn twenty teams to Oakbank, Manitoba.
There were 15 confirmed COVID-19 cases among kids in the Springfield Minor Hockey Association’s U9 competition, which is planned for Friday and Saturday, according to the letter given to parents of players in the tournament.
The association president, Cory Nakamura, told CTV News that no instances had been linked to the hockey league. The decision to cancel the event was mostly based on volunteer concerns.
“The comfort level wasn’t there,” Nakamura explained, “since it’s a community-driven tournament, and it’s difficult to conduct a tournament without any volunteers.”
The competition would have included thirteen teams from outside of Oakbank, from the Springfield RM, and seven local teams.
The Springfield Minor Hockey Association has also cancelled a U7 competition slated for next weekend.
Some Oakbank residents believe this was the right decision.
“We’re witnessing increasing transmission rates on a day-to-day basis,” said Rebecca Sandilands, a parent in Oakbank who claims COVID-19 instances have been connected to the local high and middle schools.
“It appears as the fourth wave has arrived,” she stated.
Chris St. Hilaire, who lives in Oakbank and has three grandsons who play youth hockey, feels that the event should be cancelled.
“To keep the community saying they have to do what they go to do,” she added, “the numbers are piling up in the schools.”
St. Hilaire points out that many of Oakbank’s community initiatives are conducted entirely by volunteers, and she hopes parents understand why the tournament was cancelled.
“Volunteers are fantastic,” she continued, “so people should respect that if they’re not comfortable with it.”
President of Hockey Manitoba, Peter Woods, praises the Springfield Minor Hockey Association’s foresight in cancelling the competition.
“It’s better to take that step now and reduce any form of (COVID-19) exposure they can,” Woods advised.
Despite the cancellation and an increase in COVID-19 cases among Manitoba minors, Woods is optimistic about Hockey Manitoba’s return-to-play programme.
“I believe we put in some very strong limits ahead of the curve,” he added, “certainly ahead of the restrictions that public health and the provincial government would have enforced.”
Source: CTV News
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