The 2021 Canadian Junior and Senior Swimming Championships, along with the 2021 Canadian Masters Swimming Championships, have been cancelled, Swimming Canada announced Friday.
The combined junior and senior competition was scheduled to take place July 26-Aug. 2 in Calgary, and the Masters Swimming Championships were slated for May 21-23 in Quebec City, Que.
Swimming Canada cited COVID-19 restrictions, specifically an inability to adhere to social distancing protocols, as the reasoning for the cancellations.
“Sadly, we are making another announcement about cancelling events, which has become all too familiar over the past year,” said Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi. “That said, it is once again done with the health and safety of our swimming community, and the wider community, at the forefront.
“Due to the high number of participants expected at these events, it would not be possible to put the proper distancing protocols in place to ensure these events run safely. In addition, the amount of travel required to attend these events was a major factor in the decision.”
After having discussions with provincial executive directors, the organization added that it took into consideration the fact that several swimmers and clubs have been unable to train consistently.
Swimming Canada will continue to evaluate its current plans for the remainder of the year as more decisions are made at the government level.
“We hope it will not be long before it is safe for us to announce new events and opportunities,” El-Awadi said. “We thank our swimmers, coaches, administrators, volunteers, officials and partners for their patience, and look forward to seeing them on a pool deck soon.
“We encourage our swimming community to get back into indoor or outdoor pools or even open water as facilities reopen and weather improves.”
Swimming Canada announced a major change to its Olympic Trials format this year in late January, shifting the dates back from early April to May 24-28, with a second invitational to follow June 21-23. The organization’s selection committee will be able to nominate swimmers for the Olympic team based on performances at both of those meets, with six swimmers receiving early nominations.
The 2021 Junior and Senior National Championship meet that has been cancelled would’ve likely featured the country’s top athletes that didn’t earn a spot on the Olympic team.