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Richmond resident expresses soccer COVID concern

Richmond News reader wondered why the group was allowed to play an apparently contact game
Richmond News reader Dave Currie had an issue with this 16-player contact soccer game taking place at Minoru earlier this week

If you’re concerned about organized sports activities taking place at Richmond parks recently, the chances are the groups involved have permission to be there.

Despite the ban on competitive, contact sports due to COVID-19, user groups are still allowed to take part in socially-distanced activities, such as skill sessions.

However, the sight on Monday morning at a Minoru soccer field of what appeared to be a contact, competitive game taking place between around 16 adults has irked Richmond News reader David Currie.

He said he spotted the group playing regular, contact soccer at around 11 a.m. that day, and they were still there around noon when he walked past again.

Currie referred to the “laughable” restrictions due to COVID and questioned where the City of Richmond ambassadors or bylaw officers were to prevent such an activity taking place.

“So much for us all in this together,” he added.

The City of Richmond told the News that it’s very aware of who should be using the field and, every Monday, the parks department share a list of the user groups who have permission to use the city fields for that week with bylaws staff.

Bylaws officers then, during their routine patrols, check the list when they see activities taking place at a field to ensure the users are allowed to be there.

“If the activity matches the approved use, they continue their patrols,” explained city spokesperson Clay Adams.

Should the bylaw officers see a group using a field or amenity who is not on the approved list, they are asked to cease and leave, added Adams.

If the group refuses, the officers have the option to ticket under the Parks Bylaw #8771 Part 2 Section 2.1.1, which “prevents a person taking actions that restrict or prevent any city officer or employee in the performance of their lawful duties.”

Adams said anyone with concerns about group activities taking place on city facilities should contact the bylaws department.