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Dog parks, basketball courts and park benches can now be used – KitchenerToday.com

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Area municipalties are lifting some restrictions that have been in place since mid-March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The restrictions that have been lifted pertain to outdoor spaces.

You can check out the list below (All playgrounds, park washrooms, outdoor gym equipment, splashpads, and pools remain closed in accordance with the extension of provincial orders until May 29):

CITY OF KITCHENER

Basketball Courts 
Basketball courts are available for use immediately, staff will be updating signage this week. Physical distancing remains in effect. Please use basketball facilities for an individual activity or with others from the same household. 

Dog Parks 
Leash-free dog parks located at Kiwanis Park, McLennan Park, George Lippert Park, and The Aud have been reopened for public use. 

Outdoor Furniture 
Provincial orders are now lifted on outdoor furniture. Residents can once again use picnic tables, benches or shelters, in parks or recreational areas provided that users maintain a physical distance of at least two metres. Outdoor furniture is not sanitized and we remind residents to wash or sanitize their hands thoroughly after use.

Sports Fields 
The emergency orders are now lifted for sports fields, such as baseball diamonds and soccer fields. Under normal circumstances, these spaces are typically reserved for teams who have booked the spaces, however, with group sports paused for physical distancing, the City of Kitchener will waive booking requirements for 50 of these spaces, opening them up for free public use. A full list of fields free for use is available on our website. We ask that members of the public keep off closed fields as we continue to undertake maintenance to ensure they are ready for use when we are able to reopen.

The city is hoping to reopen golf courses, skate parks and McLennan Park Mountain Trail in the coming weeks.

When using outdoor recreation facilities, members of the public are asked to:

  • Maintain a physical distance of at least two metres or six feet, except for members of the same household
  • Not gather in groups of more than five
  • Wear non-medical masks where possible
  • Practice good cough etiquette
  • Wash and/or sanitize their hands often

CITY OF WATERLOO

  • Tennis and pickle ball courts (open now)
  • Basketball courts (open now)
  • Skate park (opening soon)
  • Dog park (open now)
  • Picnic shelters and benches (open now)
  • Parking lot at Waterloo Park (open now)
  • Skate park (opening soon)

CITY OF CAMBRIDGE

The following outdoor recreation spaces are open, effective immediately: 

Basketball Courts 
Basketball courts are available for use immediately and staff will be removing closed signage this week. Physical distancing remains in effect. Please use basketball facilities for individual activity or with others from the same household. 

Outdoor Furniture 
Provincial orders are now lifted on outdoor furniture. Residents can once again use picnic tables, benches or shelters, in parks or recreational areas provided that users maintain a physical distance of at least two metres. Outdoor furniture is not sanitized and we remind residents to wash their hands after use. 

Sports Fields 
The emergency orders are now lifted for municipal sports fields, such as baseball diamonds and soccer fields. Under normal circumstances, these spaces are typically reserved for teams who have booked the spaces; however, with group sports paused for physical distancing, the City of Cambridge will waive booking requirements for non-fenced fields and allow public use. Fields with a surrounding fence will remain closed; all unfenced fields will be open for use. We ask that members of the public to continue to keep off closed fields as we complete maintenance to ensure they are ready for use when we are able to reopen.  Please note that fields open for casual use are on a reduced maintenance schedule, and have longer turf than usual.

The City has announced the following timelines in re-opening the following facilities: 

Skateparks 
City staff will ensure that skate parks are open within the next two weeks to ensure proper inspection and maintenance are performed prior to re-opening.  Skatepark equipment is not sanitized and we remind users to wash and clean their hands after use. Users are reminded of the importance of remaining physically distant during their use of the park.     

Dog Parks 
The leash-free dog park located at Maple Grove Rd will open tomorrow (May 21).  Dog park gates and amenities are not sanitized, and we remind users to wash and clean their hands after use.   

Riverside Bike Park 
The Riverside Bike Park will remain closed until seasonal repairs and renovations are complete; an opening time will be announced at a later date. 

Tennis, Pickleball & Volleyball Courts 
City staff are working on the necessary seasonal maintenance and set up required to reopen tennis and outdoor pickleball courts across the City. In order to open tennis courts as quickly as possible, the city is prioritizing the various courts and staggering their opening. Signage will be posted to the courts as they re-open for public use. All courts are expected to be reopened within the next two weeks. Riverside Beach Volleyball will remain closed until further notice.

Last week, the City, and area municipalities, announced that residents can use municipal parks and open spaces for more than walk-though access.

This includes:

  • Playing catch, throwing a Frisbee, kicking a ball, flying a kite with members of your household
  • Park visitors can bring their chairs or blankets for sitting
  • Individual activity including personal fitness exercises or yoga practice (not a group class)

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Poll: Canadians OK with being benched as NHL playoff venue – Sports – Castanet.net

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It looks like hockey fans will be able to cheer on their favourite NHL team this summer but Canadians have issued a collective shrug about whether the Stanley Cup is hoisted on their home ice.

Less than one-quarter of those who took part in a recent survey said it was very important that a Canadian city be host to some of the playoffs.

The web survey, conducted by polling firm Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, found 47 per cent thought it wasn’t important that the puck drop in a Canadian arena.

The NHL plans to resume its 2019-20 season, brought to a halt in March by the COVID-19 pandemic, with games played in two hub cities.

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto are among the 10 possible locations, but Canada’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for people entering the country remains in place and could scuttle the prospect of hockey north of the 49th parallel.

The survey was conducted May 29 to 31 among 1,536 Canadians and 1,002 Americans, 18 or older, who were randomly recruited from an online panel.

The hockey question, limited to Canadian respondents, revealed 24 per cent felt it was very important for a Canadian city to play host, while 20 per cent said it was somewhat important.

Thirty-five per cent said it was not important at all, 12 per cent felt it was somewhat unimportant and nine per cent didn’t know.

The fact the NHL plans to bar spectators from the stands during playoff games due to COVID-19 “probably cooled off a few respondents,” said Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque.

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FIFA calls on organizers not to sanction in-game gestures supporting George Floyd – CBC.ca

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FIFA urged soccer competition organizers on Monday to apply “common sense” and consider not sanctioning players for solidarity with George Floyd during matches.

The recognition of the “depth of sentiment” over Floyd’s death came in a rare statement by FIFA telling the global game to show flexibility and not enforce laws of soccer it helps to set.

Players used weekend games in Germany to reveal messages demanding justice for Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after he pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck in Minneapolis.

Germany’s soccer federation announced earlier Monday that it was assessing whether to sanction the players for breaking laws of the game that prohibit “any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images” on equipment.

WATCH | German league players show support for George Floyd:

During Sunday’s Bundesliga action, Marcus Thuram takes a knee and Jadon Sancho unveils a shirt that says ‘Justice For George Floyd’. 0:40

“FIFA fully understands the depth of sentiment and concerns expressed by many footballers in light of the tragic circumstances of the George Floyd case,” the governing body said in a statement.

“The application of the laws of the game approved by the IFAB is left for the competitions’ organisers, which should use common sense and have in consideration the context surrounding the events.”

FIFA controls half of the eight votes on the International Football Association Board, with the other four held by England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. A law change in 2014 — proposed by England — led to players being banned from revealing personal statements on undergarments.

England winger Jadon Sancho was booked while playing for Borussia Dortmund on Sunday for removing his jersey — a yellow-card offence — only so he could reveal a T-shirt with a “Justice for George Floyd” message.

WATCH | Canadian athletes speak against racism:

Canadian athletes have been speaking out against racism and for change, including tennis youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime, basketball legend Steve Nash, and Olympians Kia Nurse, Karina LeBlanc and Perdita Felicien 2:38

Borussia Dortmund teammate Achraf Hakimi displayed the same message on a T-shirt after scoring in the same game on Sunday but was not booked because he did not lift his jersey over his head.

Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died on Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck. Three other officers were also at the scene. Chauvin has been charged with murder and all four were fired.

In the Bundesliga on Saturday, American midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband over his Schalke jersey with the handwritten message “Justice for George,” and Borussia Mönchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoring for Borussia Mönchengladbach in another game.

On Monday, after the Deutscher Fussball-Bund said it was assessing the players’ actions, Cologne forward Anthony Modeste became the latest to make a gesture after scoring against Leipzig. He stood briefly with his right palm facing out and his left palm facing in to display the darker skin on the back of his hand.

Cologne said it was “a clear signal” against racism from Modeste.

WATCH | ESPN’s Howard Bryant reflects on Kaepernick’s preaceful protest:

ESPN senior writer Howard Bryant on the death of George Floyd and the resulting civil unrest. 4:19

DFB president Fritz Keller on Monday showed his respect and understanding for McKennie, Thuram, Sancho and Hakimi’s gestures.

“If people are discriminated against on the basis of their skin colour, it is unbearable. If they die because of their skin colour, then I am deeply distraught,” Keller said in a DFB statement. “The victims of racism need all of us to show solidarity.”

The expressions of protest are being investigated by the German soccer federation’s control body.

“As is the case internationally,” federation vice-president Rainer Koch said, “the game itself should remain free of political statements or messages of any kind.”

FIFA’s awareness of the depth of feeling over the racial inequalities highlighted by Floyd’s death comes amid ongoing criticism soccer is not doing enough to eradicate or punish racism.

“FIFA had repeatedly expressed itself to be resolutely against racism and discrimination of any kind and recently strengthened its own disciplinary rules with a view to helping to eradicate such behaviours,” the Zurich-based governing body said. “FIFA itself has promoted many anti-racism campaigns which frequently carry the anti-racism message at matches organised under its own auspices.”

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UFC star Jon Jones confronts vandals during George Floyd protest in Albuquerque – GIVEMESPORT

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UFC star Jon Jones took to the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico on Sunday night to confront vandals at a Black Lives Matter protest.

Jones has made news in the UFC world recently by vacating the light heavyweight belt but turned his attentions to more pressing matters at the weekend.

The 32-year-old shared footage on his Instagram account that shows him approaching vandals who were spray painting the city.

The protests were sparked by the death of American George Floyd while in police custody last week.

The clip of a police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes shocked the world and has led to people challenging the injustice towards black people.

But Jones was eager for the protests to be peaceful and he was seen asking the vandals to hand over their spray cans.

He added a caption that read: “Is this s*** even about George Floyd anymore?!? Why the f*** are you punk ass teenagers destroying our cities!?? 

“As a young black man trust me I’m frustrated as well but this is not the way, we are starting to make a bad situation worse.

“If you really got love for your city (505), protect your s***. All you old heads need to speak up, call your young family members and tell them to come home tonight.”

Several sports stars have paid tribute to Floyd, with Bundesliga football players making gestures in support of the American at the weekend.

On Saturday, Schalke’s American midfielder Weston McKennie wore a ‘Justice for George armband’.

And on Sunday, both Marcus Thuram and Jadon Sancho honoured Floyd after scoring for Borussia Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund respectively.

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