A summer sports tradition of the last five years in Prince George has been cancelled in efforts to create more awareness on social distancing.
The PG Summer Hoops Classic is a fundraiser for the local branch of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, bringing together high school basketball players to raise money, play three-on-three with friends and teammates and teach young people what it means to lift up a community.
However, the sixth annual event won’t take the court in 2020 amid concerns of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and with the 50-plus gathering ban ordered by the B.C. government still in place.
“At this time, everybody’s health and safety is of utmost importance, and we all need to continue to follow the necessary procedures and protocols as we fight this pandemic together,” said PG Summer Hoops Classic organizer Nav Parmar in a social media post.
As of this morning (March 23), there are five confirmed COVID-19 cases within Northern Health’s jurisdiction and, despite no disclosure on where the cases are exactly, the possibility of more cases could be out there as many residents have isolated themselves in their homes.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s Chief Medical Health Officer, has urged everyone, including young people, to abide by the recommendations of social distancing, which includes cancelling all events, sports or otherwise, that have the potential to spread COVID-19.
“We need to be treating this very seriously,” adds Parmar in a plea to players and everyone involved in PG Summer Hoops.
“We’re all in this together. We truly apologize for any inconvenience, but we would never risk the health and safety of anybody.”
Since the Classic began in 2015, more than $68,000 has been raised for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, including a record-$18,000 from 2019’s tournament at Duchess Park Secondary School.
High schoolers made up 24 teams across three divisions, also a PG Summer Hoops record, for girls and senior and junior boys.