School sports are back, with adjustments

By Kirk Winter

“Extra-curriculars are back,” Trillium Lakelands District School Board’s director of education, Wes Hahn said at the recent board meeting, but not all coaches and teams will be running.

“We will respect if staff feel uneasy or anxious about running teams again,” because of the pandemic, he said. “It is their voluntary right.”

Hahn told trustees that participants will have to be driven by parents to competitions because “buses simply are not available because the driver shortage remains a serious issue.”

Superintendent Kim Williams said before someone would be allowed to drive they would first have to have a criminal reference check done.

“Then there would be a license search done and a check made to ensure the driver had enough liability insurance. No driver will be considered if they have not been double vaccinated at least 14 days before the event they are hoping to drive for. If they are driving children besides their own, everyone in the vehicle will need to be masked.”

Those who drive will be allowed to watch the event they drove to Williams shared.

Williams added that all community coaches and referees will need to be double vaccinated to participate in a TLDSB-sanctioned athletic competition.

Trustee Gary Brohman wanted to know if volunteer drivers would be reimbursed gas money for their efforts. Williams said each school would make that decision individually based on their budgetary realities.

Brohman reminded senior staff that those parents were saving the board the cost of a bus, and “strongly encouraged schools to pay.”

Crowds will not be allowed at sporting events this fall, leaving only players, coaches and officials in attendance.

Hahn is also hopeful that some kind of interschool sporting activities will be made available for Grade 7 and 8 students in the board, possibly focused on soccer.

Superintendent Jay MacJanet is working on that activity, in addition to encouraging intramural competitions within each school.

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