NORTH HURON – The Blyth and District Community Centre will host a slo-pitch tournament in August at the Arena Diamond and Radford Diamond, providing that the current public health guidelines remain as they are or improve.
North Huron council agreed to let the Huron County Slo-Pitch League organize the tournament, which they will hold between Aug. 27 and 29.
Denise Lockie, North Huron’s recreation and marketing assistant, made the request to council at its Aug. 9 meeting.
The request included support for applying to the AGCO/LCBO for a special occasions permit to hold a beer garden and an exemption from the noise bylaw to allow for music to be played up until 1 a.m.
The tournament will only host participants at this event, Lockie told council, due to the high number of anticipated players and the danger involved due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lockie told council during the meeting that she had recently discovered that the Blyth Theatre is also hosting an event the same evening at their new outdoor stage in the same park.
She said that initially, the music was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., but in light of the theatre event, she will request that the tournament hold off until 9 p.m. to allow for the enjoyment of the theatre attendees.
Lockie’s report stated that under the current COVID-19 legislation for the Reopening of Ontario, outdoor sporting events are permitted subject to specific conditions. For example, the event organizer must implement a screening process, contact tracing, social distancing plan, capacity restrictions and monitoring plan.
The Huron County Slo-Pitch League has reviewed the COVID-19 legislation and the conditions required. It has developed the necessary policy and procedures for implementation.
The group has also developed the required COVID-19 Safety Plan, which has been submitted to Huron Perth Public Health.
Councillors Ric McBurney and Kevin Falconer voiced their pleasure with the idea and supported the initiative.
Reeve Bernie Bailey and Deputy Reeve Trevor Seip also spoke up about the return to activities like ball tournaments being exciting and scary at the same time, but realize that living with COVID-19 is a reality that the township is going to have to face, so the tournament is an excellent place to start.
Lockie's report said that the net proceeds from these events are used to support local community improvement initiatives and local charitable organizations.
This year's fundraising event proceeds are being allocated to the Tanner Steffler Foundation and Huron Hospice.
Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times