OLA Delays Start of Spring Season, News (Centre Wellington Mohawks Lacrosse)

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OLA Delays Start of Spring Season
Submitted By Nathan Joyes on Tuesday, March 31, 2020
There is a lot of history of lacrosse in the Centre Wellington community. There has to be, with something that goes back as far as Canadian confederation. With that history comes a lot of pride and excitement starting in March, as we know that lacrosse season is just around the corner.

This year, COVID-19 has decided to break out a massive water cannon as many youth within our community wrapped up their successful hockey seasons and started looking towards summer sports.



This unprecedented viral outbreak has had an incredible effect on everyone in the community, Ontario and the world. Front line workers are going to work every day wondering if they will be the one to bring this easily transmitted and potentially deadly virus into their home. Retail and hospitality closures will have economical effects well beyond the life of this virus.

The CWMLA executive has invested an incredible amount of heart and soul into the start up of the 2020 season, and I as president am incredibly proud of the work that they have accomplished as a team serving our community. They have been able to realize incredible things all before the start of the season including: field program expansion, almost exponential growth in the local league program, huge turnouts at try-it lacrosse events, school visits, and partnership after partnership with members of our community that see the potential for our youth and the need for organized sports. I am very proud of this group, and it has been an absolute privilege to lead them so far.
 
Although not unexpected, it is still disheartening to hear that the OLA has postponed in-person lacrosse activities again until May 15th. The OLA has been following guidance and direction from the Ontario Minister of Health, and the Public Health Agency of Canada ensuring the best interest of the health and safety of its members and patrons. Our CWMLA executive is aligned with this decision, and will continue to follow direction from our community leaders, and Public Health to, ensure the health and safety of our members and the surrounding community.
 
With that news and the OLA's press release, there are still a lot of questions to be answered.
 
What is happening with the spring field program? The OLA has communicated to the OMFLL that all spring minor field competition is to be postponed until the fall. We are not certain if this is a workable option for our members, and with receiving this announcement at the same time as everyone else, were not given the chance to ask. We consider the two programs separate, and will fully support those interested in a full refund, as well as those interested in participating in the fall program. Once we as an association are refunded our registration fees for the season, we will be in a position to refund those fees. During our Zone 8 meetings we have discussed potential for some fall field exhibition games or turkey shoots. We want to grow our field program and will continue to have these conversations in order to fulfill our membership's appetite.
 
What's happening with box lacrosse? May 15th is very close to the start of the regular box lacrosse season. For our boys and girls programs -- peanut, paperweight, and the local league teams -- they are close to half way complete. This delay in in-person activities has caused the May 22 tournaments to be cancelled (Peterborough, Innisfil, and New Market). This disruption to the start of the season will have a dramatic impact on many teams this year. We know that the OLA are playing out a number of scenarios to design a return-to-play program that will work with what they have been given. We just don't know what those are yet. However, it is important that you know that your CWMLA executive is also meeting to discuss additional scenarios so that our rich lacrosse history doesn't die in the COVID-19 aftermath.
 
This is an incredibly tough time for us as Canadians, in Centre Wellington, Ontario, but the stats that I am watching make me incredibly hopeful, as we are flattening the curve. Our front-line health workers are doing an incredible job keeping us safe from this virus and our Canadian diligence to stay at home, and willingness to learn from Italy and China will ensure that there is a chance for sport this summer.
 
Know that your CWMLA executive is working with our community and lacrosse leaders to find out as much information as possible, and will relay that to you appropriately as soon as possible.
 
It is a tough time for us all, but we will come out stronger from this as a result. For those looking to invest in the community, check out the 2020 Spring Contests on our website, there is $1500 worth of prizes available for ANYONE in our community, many events are physically-distance minded and community based. We can grow together in this time of being apart.
 
Yours in Lacrosse,
Nathan Joyes
President
Centre Wellington Minor Lacrosse Association
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