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Bowls Canada Announces Plans for 2020 Season Due to COVID-19

Ottawa, ON | March 19, 2020


In consideration of the impact that the COVID-19 virus and in line with advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Bowls Canada Board has made the decision to cancel all Bowls Canada sanctioned events for the 2020 season. 


Our priority remains the health and safety of our athletes, coaches, officials, employees, volunteers, fans, partners and all associated with the Bowls Canada family.  We have been closely following the situation as it unfolds, following the advice of our federal and various provincial governments, health authorities and the Canadian Sport Medicine Advisory Council.  We recognize that many of our members fall into the most at risk demographic and decisions were made with a duty of care to protect all members. 

 

CANADIAN SCHEDULE CHANGES
The Bowls Canada Board of Directors held an emergency meeting on Wednesday March 18th where the following decisions were made regarding Bowls Canada sanctioned events and activities.

  • Cancellation of the 2020 National Championships program including the inaugural Para Bowls Championships
  • Cancellation of 2020 National Bowls Day Program
  • Cancellation of the 2020 North American Challenge
  • Suspension of NCCP coach programming until further notice

It is understood that should the current social distancing restrictions continue into the summer, this will have an impact on clubs and provincial associations.  We are focused on working with our provincial associations to provide support through 2020 so that the sport as a whole is in a viable position to open our doors and welcome Canadians fully in 2021. 

 

SUPPORT FROM BOWLS CANADA
Bowls Canada’s plans are to use 2020 to develop programming for both long-term and short-term to provide support to clubs and PSOs. 

  • Bowls Canada will be waiving fees for the 2020 season.
  • We are committed to moving existing resources into virtual delivery format.
  • A COVID-19 Response Team has been struck with the purpose to provide agile and responsive guidance for the Board so that we can support clubs and provincial associations through this pandemic. The Response Team is currently made up of President Ian Howard, Director Don Caswell and Executive Director Anna Mees. 
  • Recommendations for the short-term to support clubs and provinces will be coming through the BCB COVID-19 Response Team, but for now Bowls Canada is advising that everyone continue to follow government recommendations regarding closures and social distancing.  This team will also be looking at further ways that support can be provided over this period.
  • We will be releasing a section on our website for COVID-19 resources and announcements. 
  • We will continue to provide updates on our social media channels including www.facebook.com/BCBOfficial and Twitter @BCBBowls.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?
During this time, it is essential that all Canadians follow the recommendations of their local health agencies, provincial governments and the Public Health Agency of Canada.


Local clubs will still need to meet minimum financial obligations and we encourage all bowlers across Canada to continue to support your club and your provincial associations.  Even though you may not be on the greens as anticipated this season, your support will ensure that the greens and programs are there for seasons to come.

 

CONTACTING BOWLS CANADA
At this point, the House of Sport and the Bowls Canada office remains closed until further notice. Our staff are all working remotely to continue to provide support for our membership. Please contact us by email at office@bowlscanada.com Until we are able to access our office, we will not be able to fill orders.

 

CLOSING THOUGHTS
The Public Health Agency of Canada is continuously monitoring the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as new information becomes available. Updates on COVID-19 can be found at:
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html


We would also like to remind our members of the following international cancellations:

  • 2020 World Bowls Championships
  • 2020 IBD World Championships (Para-Bowls)
  • 2020 World Bowls Indoor Championships
  • 2020 Australian Open

Ian Howard, Bowls Canada President had this to say,
“Bowls Canada and all of our member Provincial Associations and clubs will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe that by working together we will overcome the current health crisis facing, not just Canadians, but people all over the world. These are difficult decisions that are before us, but there is also opportunity to come together in the face of this adversity and rise stronger than ever.  
I would like to thank all of our Directors for their commitment and dedication over these last few days. Our staff has also worked tirelessly to stay on top of a situation that has been ever changing with each passing hour and I am extremely grateful for their efforts. 
In the meantime, stay healthy. The days of enjoying the great game of bowls together will be with us again before we know it.“