Calgary sports shut down, at least for now

CALGARY — On Tuesday the provincial government announced that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all sports will be shut down.  However there is a way to get games back even before Dec. 15, the date the province will assess whether to lift the restrictions.

Leagues or sports facilities can apply to Alberta Health for an exemption if they can prove that they have a plan to deal with COVID-19.

For now sports facilities like the Osten and Victor Alberta Tennis Centre will have to close their doors, despite the passionate protests of some young tennis players.

10-year-old Eva Lukyanova loves to play and practice at the tennis centre.  She says she’ll just have to find a way to get creative as long as the tennis centre is closed.

“It’s going to be different.  I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Lukyanova said.

Eva Lukyanova

“Even if they do shut down I’m always going to find a way – even if it’s in my garage I’m going to play tennis.”

Even as it seemed the tennis centre would be forced to shut down, there was hope that it would be able to remain open to a smaller percentage of players.

Danny Da Costa is the C.E.O. of the Albert Tennis Centre.  He’s proud of what his facility has been able to do in dealing with COVID-19.  They haven’t had any cases since being about to re-open the indoor facility in June.  Da Costa understands why the province had to bring in new  restrictive measures but knows it’s not going to be easy if they’re shut down for any length of time.

“Just being shut down for any period of time really creates a lot of challenges for a business like ours and you know we live on being open all of the time,” Da Costa said.

Late Tuesday evening, after hearing the new restrictions, Da Costa was still trying to figure out where his tennis centre fit in.

“The way I understand it,” he said, in an email to CTV, “is we can open with 25 per cent capacity to do private lessons. I think we need an exemption to allow singles/doubles and groups. I am hopeful that lessons (private, semi-private) can continue along with singles/doubles play.

“There isn’t a lot of clarity,” he added, “but we hope to have some more info tomorrow.”

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