For the first time in 61 years of existence, the All Native basketball tournament will not take place in 2021. A decision that pains the organizers, but which is necessary because of the health situation. The event was originally scheduled for February 7-13.
Established in 1960, this sporting event sees dozens of men’s and women’s teams from across British Columbia and parts of Alaska each year compete for a week in the community of Prince Rupert on the North Coast.
But COVID-19 and the pandemic-related restrictions have prompted tournament president Peter Haugan and committee members to give up on holding next year’s competition.
It’s disappointing, declares Mr. Haugan.
We wanted to host the event, but the number of COVID-19 cases and everything in between means you’re not going to be allowed to play now, he continues.
Everything else, it was the gymnasiums in Prince Rupert and its outlying communities that closed following provincial restrictions preventing athletes from having a place to train.
Looking for funding for 2022
Despite the support of various entities, Peter Haugan estimates that the organization will still need $ 36,000 to set up the 2022 competition.
We have to be creative and try to figure out how to get the money, indicates the president of the tournament.
Despite the cancellation of the 2021 tournament, the organizers suffered no financial loss as no tickets were sold and no venues were reserved for the event.