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Wimbledon set to return in 2021 even without fans, Sports News

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Wimbledon is set to take place next year even if the grass-court championship should be staged behind closed doors without any fans, organisers announced on Friday.

The British Grand Slam was cancelled for the first time since World War II. It was cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic. 

Global tennis faced a major disruption due to the pandemic. However, the US Open went ahead behind closed doors and the French Open took place in front of only 1,000 fans a day after its starting date was moved from May to late September.

According to several scenarios planned by the All England Club, they can go ahead with the tournament with a full-capacity Wimbledon, reduced numbers of fans or holding the tournament with no spectators present.

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“Staging the championships in 2021 is our number-one priority and we are actively engaged in scenario-planning in order to deliver on that priority,” said chief executive Sally Bolton.

Wimbledon’s statement read: “Our overriding priority will continue to be the health and safety of all of our stakeholders, in particular our guests, our staff, and our competitors.

“We are working closely with the relevant government and public health authorities, alongside the rest of the sports industry, to understand the varying challenges and opportunities presented by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”

The Grand Slam will be held from June 28 to July 11, 2021.

Wimbledon has been working closely with local communities during the pandemic and will continue to provide 200 hot meals a day to people in need until Christmas.

More than £750,000 ($970,000) has been donated to charities and organisations, while 30,000 of the famous Wimbledon towels that were intended to be used for the 2020 tournament have been given away. 

(Inputs from AFP)

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France church attack: Assailant’s family demands answers | NanaimoNewsNOW

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A 35-year-old man who had met with Issaoui in Nice was arrested overnight, a judicial official said Saturday. A 47-year-old man who had met with Issaoui the night before the attack was already in custody, bringing the number of detained suspects to three. Their connection to the attack remains unclear.

A previously unknown Tunisian extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack, and Tunisian and French authorities are investigating whether the claim is legitimate.

In Issaoui’s hometown of Sfax, his family expressed shock and appealed for peace. But they also expressed bewilderment that this young man who drank alcohol and showed no outward signs of radicalism would flee to France and attack a church.

“We want the truth about how my son carried out this terrorist attack. I want to see what the surveillance cameras showed. I will not give up my son’s rights outside the country. I want my son, dead or alive,” his mother Gamra told The Associated Press, her words often interrupted by tears.

His father and brother Wissem said that if Issaoui indeed carried out the attack, he should face justice.

“We are Muslims, we are against terrorism, we are poor. Show me that my brother committed the attack and judge him as a terrorist,” Wissem said. “If he was the attacker, he will take his responsibility.”

On the dusty Tina Street in the Nasr neighbourhood of Sfax, his friends and neighbours described Issaoui as a man who sold gasoline for motorcycles. While not starving or homeless, he was poor like many in the area, poverty that is driving more and more young Tunisians to seek jobs and opportunity in Europe.

He had had small-time run-ins with the law as a teen, but nothing that alerted Tunisian authorities to possible extremist leanings. That meant that when he was served an expulsion order from Italy, he was basically free to go where he pleased.

Italy’s interior minister, Luciana Lamorgese, told the AP that Italy’s overburdened repatriation centres had no place for him, despite agreements with Tunisia governing the return of citizens who don’t qualify for asylum in Italy.

“Obviously, we give precedence to people who are signalled by law enforcement or by Tunisian authorities,’’ Lamorgese said. “The number of spots are not infinite, and he could not therefore be placed inside a repatriation centre.’’

___

Charlton reported from Paris. Trisha Thomas in Rome contributed.

Mehdi El-Arem And Angela Charlton, The Associated Press

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Brenham 41, Pflugerville Connally 0 | Sports News

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PFLUGERVILLE — Brenham senior J’Sin Lopez ran for 137 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries, and Kaden Watts returned a punt 74 yards for another score to lead the Cubs past Pflugerville Connally 41-0 on Friday in District 13-5A Division II play.

Brenham senior Cameron Richardson caught four passes for 105 yards and two TDs as the Cubs improved to 4-2 overall and 4-0 in district.

Brenham will host Leander Rouse next week, while Connally will host Elgin.

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Alberta colleges exploring e-sports opportunities amid pandemic athletics shutdowns

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The Lethbridge College Kodiaks were supposed to be be hosting the 2020 ACAC soccer championships this weekend, but with COVID-19 shutting the door on traditional sports, it’s opened the door for a different type of competition.

Read more:
Kodiaks riding historic season into 1st CCAA nationals appearance

The Kodiaks are among many schools exploring e-sports opportunities.

“We’ve actually talked about e-sports for quite some time now,” said Lethbridge College’s manager of athletics, Todd Caughlin.

“It’s always kind of been in the background, but also on the horizon, as something we could look at.”

COVID-19 shutdowns have provided the time for schools like Lethbridge College to try out e-sports, with the a pair of Kodiaks e-athletes taking part in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s first ever Gaming Challenge, competing in the FIFA20 game on both Xbox and Playstation.

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While the CCAA Gaming Challenge is on a national scale, provincially, the Alberta Colleges Athletic Association (ACAC) is also taking steps to welcome e-sports into the collegiate space.

Earlier this month, the ACAC announced a partnership with the Alberta E-Sports Association (AESA), a non-profit looking to grow competitive gaming in the province.

“We have been talking about it for a number of years and we certainly weren’t ignoring the fact that e-sports had been growing in popularity,” said ACAC CEO Mark Kosak.

“We hadn’t really had a chance to sink our teeth into it, but unquestionably, COVID has been the catalyst.”

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Kosak says when word got out that the ACAC was exploring options, it was approached by other schools.

“[We have had] non-ACAC members who have actually knocked on our door, and said, ‘Listen, can we partner with you? We’re not part of your conference, but we understand you’re preparing to deliver e-sports as an activity, and we’re looking for a league,’” he said.

Read more:
Kodiaks men eye up chance at battling for ACAC volleyball title on home court: ‘We want that feeling’

AESA co-founder Victor Ly says he’s thrilled the ACAC approached his organization and that supporting e-sports in colleges just makes sense.

“E-sports has been around, especially in the college space, for years,” Ly said.

“Kids were playing arcade cabinets within their dorms, and there’s not a college dorm on the planet that you’re going to walk down the hallway and not see someone playing Smash Bros.”

Ly also works as an instructor at Mount Royal University in Calgary, which is now offering an e-sports management certificate.

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Ly and his co-founder Brad Jones created AESA in April of 2020, and Ly says the industry has seen even more growth than it was already experiencing thanks to COVID-19.

“The industry as a whole – in terms of gamership – has grown about 46 per cent, in terms of daily active users, and as a result stock prices for game developers have also gone up about 25 per cent during this time, so that is kind of the silver lining,” he said.

“E-sports at a global level has become a billion-dollar industry, from it’s very humble beginnings in these college dorms, in arcades, in our parents’ basements, and especially in the last five years, e-sports has become a legitimate career opportunity,” he said.

Read more:
Kodiaks confident despite heightened expectations ahead of new men’s volleyball season

Ly says the hope from both him and the ACAC is that one day e-sports teams could operate under the traditional collegiate athletics umbrella, with all the resources available to student athletes.

“The goal is to ultimately incorporate and sanction e-sports in line with traditional sports,” he said.

“What these colleges can provide are streamlined opportunities, scholarship opportunities, for these students that have these high aspirations, and to help supplement their growth.”

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At Lethbridge College, Caughlin says discussions have already started about how e-sports could look under the Kodiaks.

“We’ve already talked about how it would be housed under the athletics department, but it would be a true college team,” Caughlin said. “Because you don’t have to be an athlete – per se, as in on the court every day – to participate, but I wouldn’t ever want to run the program without the standards that we work so hard to put in place for all the student athletes.”

Caughlin said he believes the appetite for collegiate e-sports will quickly grow.

“You have to start somewhere, and I think once people start seeing the results of this, and that there is more structure to it, then I think we will see big interest,” he said.

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The CCAA FIFA20 Gaming Challenge is in action from Oct. 27 to Nov. 12. The first tournament put on by the ACAC and AESA — playing Smash Bros. Ultimate on Nintendo Switch — is set for Nov. 21.


© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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