“I know athletes and their families have been missing the joy of competition these past few months,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, in a news release. “viaSport has done a great job working with health officials and our amateur sport organizations to ensure we can safely and gradually return to game play. I encourage everyone – players, parents, coaches and volunteers – to continue to work together to make sure we can play and compete safely.”
The BC Centre for Disease Control has reviewed viaSport’s Return to Sport Guidelines for Phase 3. The guidelines contain recommendations for how different types of sports now can progressively add activities back again while continuing to adhere to current public health recommendations. This new guidance addresses contact activities, cohorts, competitions, high-performance training environments and travel.
“Sport is an important part of mental and physical health for children, youth, families and our communities,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer. “These guidelines will enable the social and emotional benefits of sport, while ensuring the sports activities remain as safe as possible.”
Under Phase 3 of the Return to Sport Guidelines, amateur sport activities may be able to engage in:
* additional training opportunities;
* modified games and matches; and
* league play and competitions within sport cohorts.
“Team play and friendly competition are at the heart of amateur sport,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, chief executive officer, viaSport. “Now, as we enter Phase 3, we will start to see more sport activities in communities around the province. While these guidelines offer key parameters for the increase in sport activity, each sport will advance at a different pace depending on community capacity and readiness. I want to thank all of the staff, organizers and volunteers who continue to ensure amateur sport in B.C. is safe and fun for everyone. As we move forward, the health and safety of all participants are our number 1 priority.”
In June 2020, viaSport released its Return to Sport Guidelines to support the amateur sport sector through the careful and gradual restarting of sports in B.C. communities. With Phase 3, each provincial sport organization can use the overarching guidelines to develop or revise its sport-specific plans. To date, 60 organizations have completed their return to play plans.