Athletes, organizations prepare for possibility of sports returning this summer
KITCHENER -- Baseball diamonds, tennis courts and soccer fields are all sitting empty due to pandemic restrictions.
Athletes of all ages and organizations are hoping summer sports will return this year.
Jack Dickson started playing baseball six years ago and has progressed to to house league with the Kitchener Minor Baseball Association.
"It hasn't really been the best because me and the rest of the team, I think we all want to get back out there on the field," he said.
Dickson, who is 12, wants to be able to get back on the field this year.
"Lots of excitement, lots of eagerness to get going," minor baseball president Ron Mooibroek said.
Other leagues are also hoping to get back for a season once lockdown restrictions lift.
CITY OF KITCHENER
Director of sport Kim Kiglar said any leagues will be dependent on provincial sport organizations and what's allowed under COVID-19 restrictions.
The city will maintain sports fields, golf courses, aquatic centres and indoor arenas, along with rinks, so they're ready if they can be used.
Kiglar said most organizations do their own registration, but it is currently on hold amid the stay-at-home order.
According to Kiglar, most facilities could be up and running in about 48 hours.
They will have safety policies in place, including screening, masks and physical distancing.
CITY OF WATERLOO
Community Adult Recreation Leagues in the City of Waterloo were shut down from April to June. Officials said any official return to play decisions will be based on information from government and public health officials.
Staff said they hope to start in July or August and are planning accordingly.
They also said participants should expect price adjustments, player limits, operational protocols and fewer teams if summer sports are able to go ahead.
WATERLOO MINOR SOCCER CLUB
Paul Burns with the club said they're planning to offer soccer this summer, as long as provincial guidelines allow it.
"We are hopeful and planning for a summer both recreationally and on a competitive level," he said.
Burns said leagues may not start until July. Plans for the league also depend on what tier the region is in. Games are only allowed in the orange, yellow or green tiers. Under red level restrictions, players would only be able to practice with physical distancing measures in place.
Anyone coming to the fields will need to answer screening questions, and equipment will be cleaned before and after use. They'll also use separate entrances and exits to allow for physical distancing, and parents may not be allowed on the actual field.
CONESTOGA SAILING CLUB
According to Mark Dineen with the Conestoga Sailing Club, they'll tie their opening date to the end of the stay-at-home order.
"We have four sessions this summer and, because of high demand, we have had to increase our capacity," he said.
They will offer full refunds if anything needs to shut down due to COVID-19.
With reporting CTV News Kitchener's Natalie van Rooy