One of the showcase sports events in Saskatchewan won’t be happening this year.
The 2021 Saskatchewan Summer Games in Lloydminster have been cancelled. The Games were supposed to happen in the Border City last year, but were pushed back to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now they have been called off entirely.
Citing the health and safety of the athletes, volunteers, spectators, event staff, and residents of Lloydminster, the Saskatchewan Games Council, the City of Lloydminster, and the Lloydminster 2020 Host Society jointly announced the cancellation.
“Amid rising concerns surrounding COVID-19 in Saskatchewan and Canada, and after careful consideration and ongoing discussions between the three parties; (the) provincial sport organizations; districts for sport, culture and recreation; and provincial authorities, it was decided the Games will not proceed in summer 2021,” stated a press release for the event.
The Games were originally scheduled for July 26 to Aug. 1, 2020, but were postponed until summer 2021 during the first wave of the pandemic after an agreement was reached between the three parties in April 2020. The decision was informed through consultation with stakeholders, government and health officials.
Following the cancellation of these Games, the event will return to its quadrennial cycle, with the next Summer Games taking place in 2024. Saskatchewan Games host communities are typically awarded through a bid process, but due to circumstances surrounding the cancellation of the 2021 Summer Games, the Saskatchewan Games Council will provide the city of Lloydminster the right of first refusal to host the 2024 Saskatchewan Summer Games.
The Saskatchewan Games are one of the largest amateur sporting events in Saskatchewan, seeing participation from over 2,000 athletes, coaches and officials from every corner of the province.
The biennial Games, which alternate between summer and winter, provide an opportunity for the province’s developing athletes, coaches and officials to experience an exciting multi-sport event in preparation for higher levels of competition, including the Canada Games, Western Canada Summer Games, North American Indigenous Games, and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The 2016 Games were held in Estevan.