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April 2022: Kelowna football coach under investigation for over-age players

Top story for Kelowna

A Kelowna high school football coach was investigated by BC School Sports in April after concerns were brought forward by Okanagan Mission Secondary School (OKM).

OKM principal Derek Lea said that allegations against coach Johannes Van Leenen first came to light in December 2021.

“We did an investigation and found that we had valid concerns with the allegations,” said Lea. “So, we parted ways with coach Johannes and forwarded that information.

“We self-reported that information to BC School Sports to allow them to make a determination about what the outcome would be and what the official sanctions from BC School Sports would be.”

Lea said initial reports were related to undue influence, or a situation where someone’s free will is replaced by that of another.

Van Leenen allegedly paid students on the team under the guise they would do work for him, but Lea noted there is no evidence of any work being done.

Van Leenen is also accused of allowing over-age, ineligible individuals to play in a game against Salmon Arm.

A letter was sent by the school to parents in early February informing them of Van Leenen’s resignation.

Allegations also arose that Van Leenen allowed an out-of-area student to use his residential address in order to play with the team.

Lea confirmed the student was never registered to attend the school.

Brittany Webster

About the Author: Brittany Webster

A video journalist with Black Press Media. I recently made the exciting move from my radio anchor position at AM 1150 to this new venture.
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