V.I. Raiders player Maren Bradbrooke returns a kickoff during a B.C. Football Conference game against the Langley Rams last season at Caledonia Park. (News Bulletin file photo)

V.I. Raiders’ junior football season gets cancelled

CJFL says it will focus on a return-to-play plan for 2021

A sport with a lot of physical contact isn’t going to happen during a time of physical distancing.

The Canadian Junior Football League announced Thursday that it has cancelled the 2020 season and post-season. Nanaimo’s V.I. Raiders play in the CJFL’s B.C. Football Conference.

“It is very disappointing to make this announcement today, but our priority is the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff and team administrators,” said Jim Pankovich, CJFL commissioner, in a release.

The league said current return-to-play guidelines “do not allow for large enough gatherings to make training and competition safe for our athletes.”

BCFC president Tyler McLaren said in a statement released by the league that he feels “for everyone who put so much preparation into this season, and did everything they could to try and strategically make this happen.”

A follow-up statement from the BCFC noted that no decision has been made yet regarding the possibility of extending eligibility for graduating players.

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