Canada West swimming and golf championships get green light

Some Tri-City student-athletes attending Canada West schools may get to compete for championships after all.

Wednesday, the sports governing body for 17 universities in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba announced conference championships for golf and swimming will go ahead, provided they conform to public health and safety regulations in place at the time.

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But another individual sport, cross-country running, will not proceed after it was determined various safety measures, like reducing the size of teams and creating defined passing areas would have too much impact on the integrity of the competition.

The Canada West golf championship is scheduled for the Okanagan Golf Club in Kelowna Oct. 2 to 4. The swimming championship, to be hosted at the University of Calgary, has been moved from November to a yet to be determined date early next year. The U Sports national championship is still scheduled to be held Feb. 25 to 27.

“We will proceed optimistically,” said Canada West president Clint Hamilton.

In June, Canada West announced first term team sports like football, soccer, field hockey and rugby wouldn’t proceed and sports that straddle the fall and winter terms, like hockey, basketball and volleyball, would be suspended until at least next January. National championships for all first term sports have also been cancelled.

Meanwhile, a decision on fall sports at Simon Fraser University could come Friday when the NCAA’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference is expected to announce its determination of a return to play. In a statement, the GNAC said it is monitoring state, provincial and local health guidelines as it reviews scheduling options.

However, as the only Canadian school in the NCAA, SFU’s ability to participate in any scheduled play could be hampered by travel restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border. As well, several states where GNAC schools are located, including Washington, California and Oregon, have seen a recent surge in cases of COVID-19 cases.

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