ST. PAUL - While the Government of Albert has given the OK for sports leagues to return to training, some St. Paul-based athletic organizations are taking their time deciding if they will move forward with summer seasons, while others have already decided they will not be offering any type of season for athletes.
Robert Simons, president of the St. Paul Soccer Association, confirmed that the club will likely not be offering any type of summer programming. Instead, work will be done on the St. Paul Soccer Fields.
Simons said the fields will be "top dressed," which means top soil will be put on them, and work will be done to improve the overall condition of the pitches. If any type of summer programming were to occur, it would have to be held on other fields in the community.
According to St. Paul Minor Ball president Justin Blackburn, the organization is having a meeting this week to discuss its options for the summer months.
"Baseball Alberta has released a return to train document that outlines some guidelines and requirements to practice baseball sanctioned," he said. The meeting is scheduled for June 23.
With the cancellation of classes in mid-March, all Alberta Schools' Athletic Association (ASAA) sports also came to a halt. This means no badminton or track and field seasons took place.
Beyond that, "As of June 12, the ASAA has cancelled the spring Season of Play for all four sports in season: football, volleyball, cross country running and golf, meaning no in-person team practices can occur between now and the end of June, 2020," reads a statement on the ASAA website. The organization posted a hierarchy for decision making as it relates to the return to school sports, which begins with direction from Alberta Health Services, followed by decisions being made by superintendents, and then principals.
When it comes to football in St. Paul, the St. Paul Bengals and St. Paul Lions fall into two separate categories, which means the Bengals bantam team may start training later this summer, while the Lions have to wait for direction from the ASAA.
"The high school is waiting for direction from ASAA on what sports will look like in the fall," confirmed Lions coach and Principal of St. Paul Regional High School Mark Tichkowsky.
The Bengals' team, which is made up of junior high aged athletes, falls under Football Alberta regulations.