Vernon’s Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre will not get the 2021 Canadian Ski Championships after they were supposed to host the 2020 Nationals, canceled over COVID-19 concerns. (Photo submitted)

Okanagan nordic centre loses out on 2021 nationals

Sovereign Lake near Vernon was to host 2020 Canadian championships, canceled due to COVID-19

There won’t be a carry-over for the Sovereign Lake Nordic Club.

The cross-country ski group near Vernon was supposed to host the 2020 Canadian Ski Championships from March 25 to April 2 at its ski-haven centre, but the organizing committee, club and national body, Nordiq Canada, made the decision to cancel the event due to COVID-19 concerns.

Having Sovereign Lake Nordic Club host the Nationals in 2021 was investigated, but Nordiq Canada explained they made an earlier commitment to Mont Ste. Anne in Quebec to be the host of the 2021 event.

“Nordiq Canada felt it was in everyone’s best interest to honour that earlier commitment,” said Dudley Coulter, communications consultant, who was to be the communications manager at the 2020 Nationals.

READ MORE: COVID-19 concerns cancel Vernon’s national ski championships

“Sovereign Lake’s organizing committee wants to express disappointment in losing their opportunity to host Canada’s top nordic skiers in their final race of the season. The event was carefully planned and we were ready to exceed expectations. The organizers for Nationals 2020 received enthusiastic support from many local businesses in providing cash and donations to make this event possible.”

Coulter said Nordiq Canada expressed gratitude for the significant amount of preparation work invested by the organizing committee, a volunteer group assembled from SLNC members.

“The safety and health of athletes, coaches, volunteers and staff is, and always will be, of top priority,” said Coulter. “This decision was made in the best interest of the broader sport and local communities with regards to handling the situation the world is facing.”

The committee expresses a huge thank you to the City of Vernon, and the Regional District of North Okanagan for providing grant dollars to help make this event possible.

The SLNC board of directors has sorted out the next steps required to begin the refund process.

All athletes and coaches who registered for Nationals 2020 will be contacted will be refunded following the Refund Policy stated in the race notice. Those who paid for trail passes and banquet tickets will be refunded 100 per cent of those purchases.

The race registrations will firstly cover the administration costs and expenses incurred and then athletes will receive a percentage of their registration from the dollars remaining. All sponsorship and grant dollars will be completely reimbursed.

The board is already working to make sure the energy behind hosting big events continues. They are putting the Nationals 2020 disappointment behind them and actively working on hosting the BC Championships in February 2021. This event is focused on provincial-level skiers and is the final competition for the season. Historically, the BC Championships attracts as many as 600 skiers in a three-day event featuring both classic and skate technique races as well as a team relay.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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