Saskatoon

COVID-19 forces cancellation of long-standing Saskatoon basketball tournament BRIT

For the second year in a row, COVID-19 restrictions have led to the Bedford Road Invitational Tournament (BRIT) being cancelled.

Bedford Road Invitational Tournament was supposed to start Thursday

The Bedford Road Invitational Tournament has been cancelled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

For the second year in a row, COVID-19 restrictions have led to the Bedford Road Invitational Tournament (BRIT) being cancelled.

On Monday, organizers sent out a news release stating that the tournament, which has been running since 1969, was being postponed until next year.

"We strive every year to provide a safe and entertaining high school basketball tournament with teams from around the world," read the release.

"With the current localized travel restrictions regarding the ongoing pandemic, it makes it very difficult to plan a successful tournament."

Eric Beck, a Bedford Road Collegiate graduate, has been volunteering at the tournament since 2007 as its technical director, working on streaming games online as well as radio broadcasts.

He said the news was disappointing but not surprising.

"It's a tournament that students and athletes look forward to every single year, with teams coming from across Canada and across the world," he said.

"It's super unfortunate that we have to cancel it this year. But I think it's the safest thing to do right now."

Organizers had managed to invite 12 teams from across Western Canada to this year's tournament, but due to local restrictions, many of the teams had to drop out.

While Beck never played in the tournament, he has been a regular volunteer, often planning his holidays around the tournament and driving from Edmonton to help.

"It's something I love doing every single year," he said.

"It holds a special place in my heart just because it taught me so many different things while attending Bedford."

Beck said next year's tournament already has a full slate of teams from across the country that have committed to play.

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