OFSAA Football Bowls cancelled due to ‘varied COVID guidelines’

Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash.

The following is a letter from OFSAA Football Kingston announcing the withdrawal of their bid to host OFSAA Football Bowls in Kingston this year:

We are sad to announce that we have had to withdraw our bid to host OFSAA Football Bowls in Kingston for 2021. We were originally scheduled to host the Bowls for the years 2020, and 2021. COVID restrictions were responsible for the cancellation of the 2020 event, and now the 2021 event has fallen victim to the varied COVID guidelines and restrictions that are in place across the province. After a month of attempted compromises and evolving regional policies, we have ultimately found no way to navigate the legal quagmire related to vaccination policies and their exceptions.

We would like to thank all of our partners, supporters, and volunteers for their patience through this process. Thank you to Queen’s University, and especially Leslie Dal Cin, Jeff Downie, and football coaches, Steve Snyder and Ryan Bechmanis, for their continued support. Your efforts to help make this work are greatly appreciated. We were looking forward to showcasing the best football teams in the province along with the best football venue in the province, George Richardson Memorial Stadium.

We would also like to thank the many businesses and individuals who stepped up to assist with our event in a variety of ways. Thank you to our broadcast partners Marshall Ferguson and Connor O’Neill, of Canadian Football Perspective, as well as Adam Marshall, of Crown Point Livestream Video Production, for their commitment to our event. Thank you to Tourism Kingston, Secura Financial Group, Sullivan General Contractors, CaraCo Group of Companies, Tim Hortons/ Agnew Foods, Jonathan Rebelo/ Courtyard Marriott Hotels, and Matt Day/ Days On Front Restaurant for their offers of financial support for the OFSAA Bowls.

Since learning in late August that we would potentially be able to go ahead with this year’s event we have experienced a number of emotional highs and lows. It seemed that each week we would get a glimmer of hope followed by a setback. Thank you to the staff at OFSAA, and their legal counsel, for all of their efforts to find a way for us to host the event. One thing for certain is that all of us were committed to providing the best experience in sport to athletes from across the province. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that across Ontario athletes have returned to play in football and other sports, and are reaping the lifelong benefits of being a part of the high school sport community.

Mike Doyle, Frank Halligan, and Tim Pendergast

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