The provincial government Saturday evening confirmed a story first reported in The Telegram Tuedsay: the 2020 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Games had been scheduled for Aug. 15-22 in Bay Roberts.
Because of the current Public Health State of Emergency, all sport facilities are closed, athletes are not able to train in the regular way, playdowns are not happening and teams cannot be selected, read a news release.
The provincial government consulted with the town of Bay Roberts, the 2020 provincial Games Host Committee and Sport NL, and there was a mutual agreement that the Games should be postponed.
There is no time table for when the Games will be played.
“No idea,” said Judy Morrow, who was co-chairing the Games with Neil Kearley. “Everything is so up in the air right now.
“We’ll have to meet with Sport Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial sport organizations, government.
“The only thing I can say is the host community is committed to playing host to these Games whenever a decision is made to proceed.”
The Games will not be scheduled to start past the 22nd as athletes are preparing for a new school year.
There has been some consideration to postponing until next year, but 2021 is a Canada Summer Games year, in the Niagara, Ont., region, and there is concern there will be too much pressure on the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial sports organizations preparing and organizing teams for both events.
One other option on the table is to postpone for four years, and have Bay Roberts play host to the 2024 provincial Summer Games No other community has officially been awarded the 2024 Games.
The is even some talk of having both the Summer and Winter Games the same year, in 2022. The Winter Games are destined for Gander that year.
Eight sports were slated for the first half of the 2020 Games – artistic swimming, male ball hockey, male baseball, cycling (road and mountain biking), female soccer and softball, tennis and triathlon.
The second-half sports were athletics, female ball hockey and baseball, golf, male soccer and softball and swimming.