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

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

(DiStefano Jaud Architecture)
Kelowna city staff wave down proposed Byrns Road development

Developer proposes gas station, car wash, liquor store, commercial buildings, in agricultural area

Elijah Beauregard, 16, was stabbed in downtown Kelowna on June 27, 2019. He died of his wounds three days later in hospital. His family is raising money to put a memorial bench at his favourite skatepark in Penticton.
Family of teen stabbed to death in Kelowna close to getting Christmas wish

A memorial bench in Penticton for Elijah Beauregard is close to meeting its funding goal

Mara Lake is one of the significant water resources across the Okanagan-Shuswap region that will fall under increasing sustainability pressure as the anticipated population growth for the region continues in this century. (File photo)
Okanagan Valley water supply sustainability reaching a critical point: Global expert

Global expert says Okanagan Basin Water Board offers sustainable path forward

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

Several police vehicles were seen at the Sagmoen farm on Salmon River Road in Silver Creek on Thursday night, Oct. 29, 2020. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
UPDATE: One person arrested, released following police presence at Sagmoen farm

RCMP were at Silver Creek property where remains of Vernon woman were found in 2017

Vernon Council voted in favour of implementing a 500-metre buffer between all new cannabis stores in the city at its meeting Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Black Press files)
New cannabis shops in Vernon will need to stay 500m apart

The distancing rule won’t apply to existing stores, including the six currently in downtown core

A case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Little Seedlings Daycare in Armstrong, located beside Highland Park Elementary School (pictured above). Interior Health confirmed the positive case was present at the daycare on Oct. 22 and 23, 2020. (Google image)
COVID-19 case reported at Armstrong daycare

IH letter says positive case was present at Little Seedlings Daycare Oct. 22 and 23

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A fundraising initiative has been set up to help Mirjana Komljenovic, who has been diagnosed with Hermansky Pudlak Syndome and requires $2,000 a month to cover the costs of her medication. (gofundme.com)
Fundraiser created to help Summerland woman with rare condition

Mirjana Komljenovic requires costly medication to treat Hermansky Pudlak Syndome

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Heather Pescada is Ms. Halloween and when COVID threatened to ruin her haunted fun, she got creative, inventing a six foot candy chute at her Summerland, Trout Creek home.
(Peskelly Family Facebook page)
Okanagan Halloween house invents huge candy chute

The six foot chute looks like the snake from Nightmare Before Christmas

Most Read