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Manitoba Summer Games pushed back to 2024

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The 2020 Manitoba Summer Games powered by Manitoba Hydro have officially been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The games were originally scheduled to be held in Dauphin in August, but when the pandemic became widespread, the event was rescheduled to July 2021.
Dauphin will now host the games in 2024.
According to Dauphin Host Society co-chair Carla Wolfenden, discussions to cancel the event began in late September.
“We met as an executive and voted on it. We also took it to the city as our hosting partner to approve pushing us back to 2024 and agreeing to be on board again in 2024. And then Sport Manitoba had to take the necessary steps with their sponsors and with the provincial government, as well, to go ahead and cancel and reschedule us to 2024,” she said.
The move does not set organizers back, Wolfenden stated.
“We’re just going to take a two-year break. Our executive voted in favour of taking a couple years off and picking up where we left off in early spring of 2023. Some committees will start sooner than others, depending on what stage of planning they were at,” Wolfenden said.
“Volunteers and sponsorship will probably start earlier than some of the sport committees, but we will just pick up where we left off. And hopefully, we won’t forget everything that we’ve already done.”
No planning had taken place for the 2021 event, because the host society was not sure what things were going to look like. All the operational plans, Wolfenden noted, were in place.
The original postponement came at a good time, she said, because they had not yet started their sponsorship drive.
“And I think that saved us a lot of complications, like refunding cheques and having used some funds that we received from sponsors. We hadn’t spent much money yet, at all. We just had some grants that went towards facilities around town and the mountain bike race course, obviously,” Wolfenden said.
“It’s not a waste, because they’ll also be used in 2024. And now, we can actually continue to improve on them over the next two years. We actually can look at it as a benefit of having more time.”
Wolfenden said it is deflating having to wait even longer now to host the games when they were so close to hosting this year.
“But we’ll just have more time to tweak things and we’ll still put on as good of a show in 2024, if not better,” she said.
The host society was going to wait until January to see if there would be a possibility of hosting the games in 2021, Wolfenden said, but when cases started going up in October, it became clear the pandemic would get worse before it got better.
“And instead of wasting a lot of time and effort and volunteer resources on planning when everyone knew in their heart it probably wasn’t going to happen, we just decided with Sport Manitoba, it was a joint decision with all the provincial sport organizations, we met with them via conference call. And it was a group decision to put it off, because I don’t think we’ll be in any position to have 1,800 athletes staying in one athletes’ village,” she said.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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