Lord Tweedsmuir football players swarm a lone W.J. Mouat Hawk Nov. 8, 2019 at Cloverdale Athletic Park. High school athletes still don’t know whether they will be playing sports this fall or not. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

Future still uncertain for B.C. high school sports this fall

B.C. School Sports working on detailed return-to-sport plan

Although the future is still uncertain for high school sports in B.C., the governing body recently released some hopeful news.

In a press release, BC School Sports said they are working on a detailed return-to-sport plan for each fall sport.

“Our reality is that school sport is going to look different in the fall,” wrote BCSS executive director Jordan Abney. “Having our traditional celebrated provincial championships is going to be unlikely in most, if not all sports.”

Abney said BCSS is trying to get its return-to-sport plan together by early August, but they will wait to release it until after they hear the Ministry of Education’s return-to-school plan, which is expected in mid-to-late August.

SEE ALSO: B.C. School Sports suspends spring season

“We know that the football programs around the province are preparing for a return on August 24 for their traditional two-weeks of pre-season camp, and our football commission has already done a tremendous amount of work preparing to safely do this.”

Unlike B.C. Rugby’s fully detailed “roadmap” back to rugby, Abney’s release was short on details. However, Abney did hint at what might be coming.

“We will focus on fall sports to begin with, and evaluate the risk factors and modifications required to make school sport viable,” he wrote. “In some sports, this may mean access to some localized competition. In other sports, this may mean being limited to training and only in a very controlled setting.”

Abney explained many factors are currently out of BCSS’s control right now.

SEE ALSO: Rugby practices to return to Lower Mainland fields this fall

SEE ALSO: ‘Everyone is very excited to get going’ says Surrey Eagles GM of BCHL’s planned return

The release, posted to the BCSS website July 13, also acknowledged the colossal duress students have come under during the pandemic of 2020.

“We recognize the massive importance of co-curricular activities such as school sport to the mental and physical health of the students,” wrote Abney. “In recent weeks, there have been studies published noting the significant decline in the mental health of students in the absence of normalized education and specifically the lack of co-curricular engagement over the past four months.”

Abney called these red flags and added they represent the dangerous reality students are living in without access to school and school sport.

“BCSS has a responsibility to ensure we bring back as much sport and normalcy as we can to support their well-being,” Abney noted. “We remain committed to this while also acknowledging that we will not sacrifice the health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, officials and administrators.”

The release, sent to all member-school principals, athletic directors, superintendents, high school sport commissioners, and others, also highlighted the “great significance” high school sports play in the school community and greater community.

“We have been receiving pressure from parents and coaches encouraging us to push the boundaries of the guidelines,” Abney revealed. “We understand the frustration that comes with the current restrictions and urgency for clarity of what our realities will be in September.”

SEE ALSO: Sports’ return-to-play marred by rain

SEE ALSO: Surrey-area associations gear up for hockey restart

Abney noted that while the province is currently in Phase 3 of its reopening plan, sports are still spinning in Phase 2—which means there are still a bunch of limitations on what organized sporting groups can do.

“While BCSS is an independent organization, we will be using the guidelines and direction from the Provincial Health Officer in conjunction with the return-to-sport guidelines from the provincial government as the foundation for our return-to-sport plan,” Abney wrote.

BC School Sports governs more than 90,000 student athletes in more than 450 schools. They oversee 62 provincial championships in 19 sports.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

British ColumbiaHigh school sports

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

COLUMN: We don’t need an election. But it’s 2020, so we’ll probably get one anyways.

There are only selfish reasons for the NDP to trigger an election this fall

Say ‘Hi’ to the mountains (and rain): The smoke is gone from the Fraser Valley, for now

Saturday’s Fraser Valley air quality forecast at ‘moderate risk,’ but morning showers leave skies clear

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at Abbotsford border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read