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Coronavirus: Toronto’s sports franchises team up to launch fund for event staff – Global News

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Toronto’s five prominent sports organizations have teamed together to create a special assistance fund for event staff affected by the suspension of all major sports in the city due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The “Team Toronto Fund” was announced on Sunday in a joint statement by the Blue Jays, Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC, and Argonauts.

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The program is designed to further assist arena, stadium and support staff should they be in need of extra financial assistance due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The statement says that team management, coaches, and players from all five teams will contribute to the fund “to provide additional aid to the many workers that support them each and every day and night.”

The Blue Jays are owned by Rogers Communications and play their home games at Rogers Centre, while the other four are under the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment umbrella.


READ MORE:
Coronavirus: Toronto Raptors team members cleared of COVID-19 after recent tests

The Leafs and Raptors play at Scotiabank Arena while the Argos and TFC call BMO Field home.

MLSE also unveiled details of a program to assist close to 4,000 part-time and event staff at Scotiabank Arena, BMO Field and Coca-Cola Coliseum, home to the American Hockey League’s Marlies, on Friday.

The NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS and CFL, along with the AHL, halted their seasons this week amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Woods on Masters: 'My body was ready' – TSN

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Tiger Woods felt strong and fit enough to compete for another green jacket. He could sense the adrenaline starting to flow, along with a strange sensation.

He was grumpy.

Instead of flying to Augusta National for the Masters this week, he was home in Florida, where the only competition for a green jacket was a putting contest with his 11-year-old son, Charlie.

“I felt energetic, I felt really alive and wired and kind of irritable, and I didn’t know what was going on,” Woods said in an interview with GolfTV made available Thursday. “And I realized it was Sunday morning. … And my body, subconsciously, I knew I was supposed to be getting ready to leave and start playing the Masters.

“My body was ready, and I didn’t know why I was acting that way,” he said. “It’s crazy.”

The interview recorded Wednesday with Henni Zuel of GolfTV — Woods has an endorsement deal with the Discovery-owned channel — was his first since the final round of the Genesis Invitational in February. Woods chose not to play the next four tournaments because his back was not ready. And then golf was shut down along with other sports by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has been at home with his two children and girlfriend, riding bikes for exercise, occasionally playing golf at The Medalist Club and having putting contests with Charlie, with the green jacket going to the winner.

That’s another reminder of these times. This will be the longest a Masters champion has been able to keep golf’s most famous piece of clothing at home. Woods is not required to leave it in his locker at Augusta National until he returns to defend. And that won’t be until November at the earliest.

“This is not the way that I would’ve wanted to keep the jacket for a longer period of time,” Woods said. “I wanted to get out there and compete for it and earn it again, like I did in ’02. But it’s not a normal circumstance, it’s not a normal world. It’s a very fluid environment and it’s very different for all of us. Fortunately, we potentially could have a Masters in November and play it then. I guess I’ll be defending then and hopefully that all comes about.”

In the meantime, he started playing for the jacket with Charlie at the start of the year, wanting to take advantage while the jacket was at home.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to defend, I don’t know if I’ll be able to win again, but let’s just take a moment to have a little fun with it,” Woods said. “Occasionally, it’s gone into his closet. Primarily, it’s stayed in mine. But the fact he’s been able to earn it off me — because there are no wins that are given in this family — it’s been fun to see him tease me about beating me and being able to wear the jacket and have it in his closet where he says it belongs.”

Woods would rather let 95 other players try to take it over 72 holes at Augusta National.

That will have to wait.

The time off has been helpful in one regard. Woods, who won the ZoZo Championship in Japan late last year for his record-tying 82nd victory on the PGA Tour, was off to a slow start this year. He didn’t seriously contend at Torrey Pines and finished last at Riviera. And then he shut it down, his back not feeling quite right as he resumes his career following four surgeries, the last one to fuse his lower spine.

“Night and day,” he said about the difference in how he feels from the last time he played on Feb. 16 in Los Angeles. “I feel a lot better than I did then. I’ve been able to turn a negative into a positive and been able to train a lot and get my body to where I think it should be at.”

He still struggles to think about what he should be doing this week: a flight to Augusta on Sunday to practice and help hand out trophies in the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals; the noise and bustle of practice rounds on Monday and Tuesday, the Masters Club dinner on Tuesday night for only champions, the Par 3 Tournament with his kids as caddies on Wednesday, and then quiet of the eve of the Masters as he tries to build toward the final round of his favourite tournament.

He stuck to one tradition — the Champions Dinner.

Woods tweeted a photo of him having his dinner Tuesday night, wearing the green jacket, with his girlfriend and children and food that he wants on the menu — steak and chicken fajitas, sushi and sashimi, milkshakes. Also on the table were cupcakes.

Whenever he gets around to hosting the real dinner at Augusta National, it probably won’t end the same way.

There was a food fight at home.

“It got a little bit interesting at the end, a little ugly, where icing was flowing across people’s hair and face, and so we had a little bit of fun at the end,” Woods said. “I did take the jacket off. This jacket cannot get any cupcake on it.”

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Young, Paul to headline H-O-R-S-E field starting Sunday on TSN – TSN

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Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks will headline the field of NBA, WNBA and NBA alumni in a H-O-R-S-E challenge beginning Sunday night on TSN.

Catch it beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT on TSN2, TSN.ca, the TSN App and on TSN Direct.

Other members of the field include former WNBA star and Naismith Hall-of-Famer Tamika Catchings, WNBA All-Star Allie Quigley of the Chicago Sky, Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls, Mike Conley of the Utah Jazz as well as retired stars Paul Pierce and Chauncey Billups.

ESPN’s Mark Jones will serve as the event’s host.

The challenge will be held in tournament format, with the quarter-final round happening this Sunday and the semifinal and final round taking place the following Thursday.

Sunday’s quarter-finals will see Young take on Billups, Catchings face Conley, LaVine against Pierce, and, finally, Paul match up with Quigley.

State Farm will donate more than $200,000 on behalf of the participants to charities focused on coronavirus relief efforts.

Here is the complete broadcast schedule for the tournament.

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Report: Paul, Young headline HORSE field – TSN

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The NBA and ESPN’s plan to televise a HORSE competition is nearing completion according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Among those expected to participate are Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul, Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young and Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine. Wojnarowski adds the competition will include a couple of WNBA players and recent NBA alumni.

More to come. 

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