The world of sports is celebrating the announced return of matches and competitions and hopes that there will no longer be major sports restrictions like those that have been in place for two years.
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At the office of the international hockey club Tournoi de Québec, it’s time to celebrate. General Manager Patrick Dom sounded the alarm after the Prime Minister’s announcement that matches would resume on 14 February and competitions and tournaments on 28 February. “I am by far the happiest guy in Quebec. I think so much about the youth, about all sports combined, who have been waiting for such news, with the calendar set,” he said. “Finally we see it, the light at the end of the tunnel.”
He is happy he decided to postpone the tournament until May rather than cancel February, he says the phone hasn’t rang since the announcement and many teams have raised their hands to enter “if we’re ever short of teams.”
We can hold the Tournament from May 1 to May 15, in full force, – he rejoices, and promises that it will be “festive”.
Sports Quebec, which launched the #OnVeutJouer movement, was “relieved” yesterday, according to general manager Isabelle Ducharme. “Our slogan is: we will play now.” “The good news is that we have dates and lineups. This is what we asked for.” The sports community, she says, has learned to adapt to the regulations in recent years.
“The sports world has gone to great lengths to allow athletes to train in conditions that are not normal but that allow them to be active,” she recalls. She now hopes this was the last breath of the pandemic. “We have always promised that we will be able to adapt and withstand adversity, and we will continue. But I can tell you that everyone really wants to not have another wave.”
At Laval University’s Rouge et Or, Jean-Noel Corriveau, Associate Director of the Excellence Program, welcomes “very good news”. The late resumption of games during the college season causes headaches. “We have to reschedule” calendars. But college organizations won’t count the hours to “let student-athletes play as much as possible.” They’ve lost enough.
For Mr. Corriveau, this conclusion of the sport, which is coming to an end, must be the last. “The reason is more to go to the championship. This should allow student athletes to live their passion, which is sport. It is part of their daily routine and life balance.
“I don’t want to go back,” says Patrick Dom. I live in hope with what they told us today.”
Quebec Collegiate Athletic Network President and CEO Gustave Roel reminds us that the message from public health is that we will have to learn to live with the virus. “The message, for example, says: we believe in your ability to intelligently operate the mask. I’m sure.”
He recalls that there have been “very few” outbreaks in college sports. “Lessons have been learned over the past two years.” The good news for him is that the game is back for all athletes in Quebec. “We don’t share a class. This is easier.”
We also applauded the relaxations at Hockey Quebec and Soccer Quebec, who expressed their joy on social media, with the latter describing it as “very good news”.
The mayor of Quebec, who has championed the resumption of youth sports, expressed his satisfaction on Twitter. “This is very good news for our youth, who will soon be able to start their sport again, and for the parents who will return to the stands to support their children. I am very pleased with this deconfinement plan presented today by François Legault.
The education minister in charge of sports and recreation, Isabelle Charest, was delighted with the outcome. “Thanks to the collaboration between public health, my team and sports and leisure partners, we were able to announce the resumption of matches and competitions,” she wrote in writing. I am very proud that we are prioritizing the interests and safety of young people and that we can provide predictability to the sporting community, as they have asked us to do. I encourage athletes and women to continue to be exemplary, as they have been since the beginning of the pandemic.