May 15, 2020
At a time when many of us would normally be heading to the Canadian Championships, Diana and I thought we’d reach out to all our players, members and colleagues. We’d like to let everyone know what Racquetball Manitoba (RM) has heard about the status of the various racquetball facilities in Winnipeg, Brandon and elsewhere and when to expect a return to the courts and the game we love. At the very least, we want to tell you what we know.
Firstly, we hope and trust that everyone within the racquetball community has stayed well, both mentally and physically, under the present COVID-19 conditions and these highly uncertain times. And kudos to all who have gone the extra “kilometre” and helped those who may be, or have been, particularly vulnerable. I think we all know just how caring and generous Manitoba racquetball players can be.
As to the facilities, here’s what we know as of today’s date. Please bear in mind that the situation for all these potential reopening dates is fluid and could easily change:
U of M Frank Kennedy Centre / Active Living Centre
The U of M announced early that they would be closed through to June 30, 2020 hopefully with a return after the July 1 holiday. At this time, it’s anyone’s guess what a return to the facilities will mean. RM has also been informed that the university’s recreation services team has been laid off with no determined return-to-work day—RM had been working on the development of fall programs with the team.
U of W Duckworth Centre
RM did speak directly with the general manager of U of W’s athletic facilities and the university is monitoring things on a month-to-month basis. The GM admitted he had no more information than what the public health authorities were saying and that the opening of facilities will be cautious and likely in phases.
The Brandon Sportsplex as a city owned facility will follow the provincial re-opening plan. No other details are currently available.
Racquetball Manitoba has been participating in weekly update calls with Sport Manitoba. Sport Manitoba has asked all sports to file suggested “return to play protocols”. RM is working on this document but our return to play is tied to the re-opening of our venues.
Regarding the RM and Racquetball Canada 2020 tournament schedule, much is still very uncertain and the little we can share includes that a Nationals for Open level players and Juniors in categories, 18, 16 and 14 & Under is tentatively scheduled for September 4 to 7 in Brossard, QC. Racquetball Canada felt it was important to try and host this event for team selection purposes. The recommendations of health authorities and the ability of the athletes to prepare and train safely will determine whether the event will occur. The 2020 Nationals for all other divisions have been cancelled.
In closing, even though there really isn’t much to report, we think it’s important as an organization to share what we know, and even what we hear monthly. Naturally, if any breaking news can be shared regarding the facilities or tournaments, we’ll immediately send out a release when that happens. In addition, any general information in letter form, such as this, will appear on our website. Look for them in our “Latest News” feed on the homepage, if for any reason you’ve been missed or if you’d just like to re-read a particular message.
Hopefully the COVID-19 pandemic crisis will soon end, or perhaps be mitigated, and we’ll all be able to return to the courts, at least in some manner.
Stay safe and stay well.