P.A. Minor Football fall programs cancelled

Daily Herald File Photo Members of the Prince Albert Minor Football Association River Riders run through a practice drill with their coaches.

It will be a quiet fall for young football players in Prince Albert.

After already cancelling their spring programs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prince Albert Minor Football announced on Friday that their 2020 fall programs would not be taking place.

“The bottom line is that the COVID-19 numbers just aren’t going in the right direction,” Prince Albert Minor Football coach and executive board member Taras Kachkowski said. “With the nature of our game being one where every play begins and ends with close personal contact, it was inevitable that this was going to be the outcome.

“As much as we were hoping against hope that we would be able to have a season, the smart and rational decision is to wait this out.”

The programs that are affected by the cancellation are the Pee Wee and Bantam River Riders teams that play out of the Saskatoon-based Kinsmen Football League, the Atom 6-A-Side program and the Pass Punt & Kick Competitions.

“With our online registration system, we don’t take any kind of payments,” Kachkowski said. “It’s always done in person when the programs start, so there will be no financial penalties to anyone who registered.

“We’re sorry that we are unable to provide the programs this year. We plan to regroup and hopefully we’ll be going again next spring.”

Like all minor football organizations in the province, Prince Albert Minor Football will be following the guidelines set forward by Football Saskatchewan in their return to play document.

“Everyone’s kind of doing their own thing at the moment,” Kachkowski said. “At this point, I know Saskatoon is looking to go ahead with their season, but that could all change within the next couple of days.

“It’s just a tough time for everyone right now. I know from our perspective, we’ve all worked hard to build up a positive image and reputation in Prince Albert and the surrounding area since we started almost a decade and a half ago. We weren’t willing to sacrifice all of that goodwill to do something when there’s too great of a risk to everyone’s safety.”