There will be no Saskatchewan Summer Games in 2021.
The Saskatchewan Games Council, City of Lloydminster and Lloydminster 2020 Host Society announced the games’ cancellation on Monday.
The reason cited was to protect the health and safety of the athletes, volunteers, spectators, event staff and residents of Lloydminster.
The games had originally been scheduled for July 26 to Aug. 1 in 2020 and was postponed to summer 2021.
Now it is off altogether, but the plan is to return the event to its normal four-year cycle in 2024. Lloydminster will have right of first refusal to host the games.
“The athletes’ safety and comfort is paramount,” said Kevin Kusch, chair of the 2021 Sask. Summer Games host society, in a statement. “Considering the guidelines in place for competitive team sports such as baseball, soccer, and rugby, to name just a few, as a Host Society, we cannot offer athletes and their supporters the experience they deserve. From the beginning, our board has maintained the games need to be a memorable event. For many athletes, this is their first experience competing at the provincial level, and as a host society, one of our duties is to provide them with a true Saskatchewan Summer Games experience. We look ahead to welcoming the athletes, coaches and families when it is safe to do so.”
“The Saskatchewan Games Council sends sincere gratitude to the community leaders who have dedicated so much time and energy towards the planning of these Games to date, as well as the entire Lloydminster community who has, since 2018, rallied around bringing this event to their city,” said Mark Bracken, Sask. Games Council executive director. “We look forward to the next opportunity where we can work together to deliver an exceptional, safe, and celebratory Saskatchewan Summer Games for young developing athletes, coaches and officials across our province.”
“On behalf of the City of Lloydminster and the greater community, we thank the dedicated, community-minded volunteers who provided their time promoting the 2020 Saskatchewan Summer Games while navigating COVID-19,” said Mayor Gerald Aalbers in a statement. “Sports, whether team or individual, inspire and unite us. Together we’ll weather the storm as we build toward economic recovery, and the return of competitive sports and Lloydminster’s potential to host the 2024 Saskatchewan Summer Games.”