EDMONTON – Plans to stage Canada West (CW) golf and swimming championships during the 2020-21 season are set to continue, while cross country championships will not be staged this season, the conference announced Wednesday.
The decisions were made Wednesday via a vote of all 17 CW members, following recommendations from the conference's Board of Directors, which were informed by the CW COVID-19 Task Force.
Whether the championships are ultimately staged is contingent on health and safety considerations across Western Canada, as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba continue to manage COVID-19 in their respective provinces.
The CW Golf Championships, hosted by UBC Okanagan in Kelowna, B.C., are scheduled for the Okanagan Golf Club October 2-4. The event will be the lone conference championship in the fall, as the CW Swimming Championships at the University of Calgary – previously scheduled for November 2020 – are being rescheduled for early 2021 (dates TBA).
With respect to the CW Cross Country Championships scheduled for the University of Saskatchewan this fall, the COVID-19 Task Force felt that the necessary risk mitigations – reduction of team complement, altered start, creating defined passing areas, or hosting regional championships (one BC, one prairie) – would too significantly impact the integrity of the championships.
"I'd like to thank our COVID-19 Task Force along with the scheduled hosts of our fall championship sports for the work that went into informing today's vote," said CW President Clint Hamilton. "While we are disappointed that cross country champions won't be crowned this fall, we will proceed optimistically with plans for the CW Golf Championships and remain hopeful for delivering swimming in the second term."
Wednesday's news is the latest in a string of COVID-19 related announcements by the conference.
On June 8th Canada West announced that all first term team sports – football, soccer, field hockey, and rugby 15s – wouldn't proceed, and that all two-term sports – basketball, volleyball, and hockey – would start no sooner than January 2021 with reduced schedules.
A decision on the commencement of two-term sports and second term championship sports – including swimming – will be made no later than October 8.
With respect to national championships, U SPORTS announced on June 8th that all fall national championships – including cross country – had been cancelled. The U SPORTS Swimming Championships currently remain scheduled for February 25-27, 2021. Golf isn't currently a U SPORTS offering, but does crown a national champion via Golf Canada's Canadian University and College Championships (June 1-4, 2021).