Student sports in B.C. may soon resume, but not in the same way | Kelowna News | iNFOnews

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Student sports in B.C. may soon resume, but not in the same way

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
September 29, 2020 - 7:00 AM

Student-athletes whose dreams to compete this year were dimmed by the pandemic may soon get to play again, though it may not be as they hoped.

“We are looking at having school sports, but they will be limited in the same ways that we've been limiting some of the community sports,” Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, said yesterday Sept. 28.

“So it would be schools playing teams within the region, not traveling around the province as normally would happen.”

Dr. Henry said there would be restrictions on which sports resume, as well.

“Sports like wrestling are not ones that we're going to be able to do safely this fall,” she said. “Things like running and some of the sports teams will be going in some communities, but it is again, depending on the school district and how they're able to manage that.”

Which sports do and don’t get underway are part of the school re-opening plan and Dr. Henry said they are taking things step-by-step.

“I don't have all of the details but I do know that it's an important part of... some students learning capacity and sports are a very important part of keeping young people fit and active,” she said.

In a B.C. School Sports report, issued Sept. 24, the connection between student health and sport was spelled out.

“Recent research conducted during the pandemic has indicated that 70 per cent of student-athletes are showing signs of depression and anxiety at levels normally requiring medical intervention, a nearly 40 per cent increase over normal benchmarks,” the report indicates.

Additionally, the study noted physical activity had decreased 50 per cent during the pandemic in these student-athletes. "School sport plays a critical role in the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of our student-athletes," it said.

Currently, the B.C. School Sports is at stage two of its re-introduction to school sports.

This means that reduced physical contact training and friendly competition can take place within the educational cohorts students are placed in by their school for the delivery of the curriculum. Social distancing should still be maintained and masks used for all aspects of preparing for the sporting activity.

"It is only during the actual activity, within the natural parameters of the sport would there be a reduction in physical distancing, however, it is noted that contact should be reduced," according to the report.

This eliminates any drills or contests where there is intense and/or prolonged physical contact. (ie. Line play in football, scrums in rugby etc). Coaches are required to adapt the training environment to reduce physical contact in this stage.

It’s a new reality many student-athletes are struggling with.

In a recent interview with, Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary School student Cole Wyllie said that he would otherwise be impressing the various university scouts that come to games to recruit players. On top of that, he'd have statistics to back up his gameplay and video footage of him playing leagues matches to pitch to universities in Canada and the U.S.

The pandemic has put a hold on all that and casts his future into an uncertain light. To read more on his story, go here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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