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“As an organization, we are hugely disappointed to have to postpone ESSO Minor Hockey Week,” Kobelka continued. “ESSO Minor Hockey Week is a staple event in Calgary during the first two weeks of January. It is something that all of our members look forward to each and every year.”
Right now, hockey folks are simply looking forward to getting back on the ice.
Never mind that the 42nd annual edition of ESSO Minor Hockey Week — which sees on average about 11,000 kids on some 700 teams play approximately 900 games over eight days — is in limbo for 2021.
“As for status of hockey, we are still in a holding pattern,” Kobelka said. “We are hopeful that the (Alberta) government will make an announcement later this week regarding reducing the restrictions, but at this time, there has been no confirmation one way or the other.”
A rumour surfaced Tuesday that Hockey Canada is intending to shut down all hockey activities on Wednesday, following the wrap-up of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton.
But any such action is unlikely to affect the minor levels of the sport.
Meanwhile, like hockey, ringette got on the ice for practice and game action — under strict COVID-19 protocols including bubble participation — through September and October and for part of November.
Since then, it’s been about virtual get-togethers.
“We have heard nothing in terms of a heads-up for returning to ringette,” said the chair of the ESSO Golden Ring Tournament. “As for the ESSO Golden Ring, we cancelled it in fall because we knew we couldn’t band our (hundreds of) volunteers together past a certain point. We wouldn’t have enough resources to host a tournament if the rules had changed.”