The ban on school sport activities will be lifted as of Sept. 10 – the day students across B.C. are set to return to classes.
Jordan Abney, the executive director of BC School Sports (BCSS), announced the lifting of the ban in a memo published on the organization’s website Thursday.
However, Abney clarified that sports activities will be allowed if the guidelines set out by the province can be followed – and interschool athletics are still off the table.
BCSS is the governing body for high school sports across the province.
“The (BCSS) board decided that effective the first day students are in session…the ban on school sport activities currently in place will be lifted,” Abney said in the memo.
“Provided that they can be conducted following guidelines as published in the K-12 Educational Restart Plan, school sport activities may resume.”
Under the back-to-school plan, co-curricular activities such as interschool athletics are not permitted – something that brought “a great deal of disappointment to students, coaches and parents,” said Abney.
However, the plan states that extracurricular activities, such as sports, arts or special interest clubs, can resume as long as physical distancing can be maintained between members of different learning groups or cohorts, and members of the same learning group can practice reduced physical contact.
“Now that there is clarity on what the school year will look like, we are working on finalizing the Return to School Sport plan to provide guidelines and resources for our schools,” said Abney.
“It will be incumbent on our administrators, athletic directors and coaches to find creative solutions to safely engage students in school sport activities at this time.”
Abney added that the ban on school sports will remain in place until students are back in classes. However, coaches are allowed to conduct virtual sessions to stay engaged with student-athletes through the last few weeks of summer.
The BCSS expects to publish its Return to Sport Plan before the beginning of school.