Categorized | Sports

Fort Macleod STARS tournament postponed again

Fort Macleod’s annual volleyball tournament in support of STARS air ambulance has been postponed again due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers of the STARS volleyball tournament announced Thursday the new date is June 11-13.

“We are hopeful that by moving the tournament to June this year we will be able to go ahead with it as close to normal as we can,” organizer Mike Bourassa said.

The COVID-19 pandemic last year forced organizers to cancel the tournament.

In December, the committee announced the 2021 tournament planned for its traditional place on the second weekend in April, was postponed until May 28-30.

The committee was hopeful the public health restrictions would be eased by then.

Instead, the provincial government enhanced measures  in November to slow the spread of the virus.

At present, sports facilities in Alberta have been closed temporarily to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Private and public gatherings are banned right now, and entertainment centres are closed.

That would impact the STARS tournament, which offers beer gardens and a cabaret with the price of registration.

All the teams that had entered the 2020 tournament only to have it cancelled will have first opportunity to register for the 2021 event.

Teams that did not ask for a refund on their registration fees last year are guaranteed a spot in the tournament.

The committee plans to contact teams and begin promoting the tournament on April 15.

Even though last year’s tournament was cancelled, thanks to the generosity of teams and donors it still raised $10,000 to fund two missions by the air ambulance.

The previous year the tournament raised more than $11,400 for STARS, and in 2017 it raised $12,372.

The tournament also puts close to $14,000 into businesses where supplies were bought and to community groups that helped out with the tournament.

Forty-six teams participated in the co-ed tournament in 2019 — a number the committee is hopeful it can attract when the 18th tournament is staged.

For information about the 19th STARS Charity Volleyball Tournament contact Mike Bourassa at 403-330-3546 or mandacater@gmail.com.

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