Sports fraternity trying to stay in the game

By Don Fennell

Published 4:18 PDT, Fri September 11, 2020

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

Not unlike the rest of society, the sports fraternity is trying to carry on in a world of unpredictability.

Whether it’s outdoors on the soccer pitch or on an indoor ice rink, local sports organizers are following the leads of their governing bodies—and provincial health regulations—to try their best to enable athletes the chance to participate.

Richmond FC executive director Marius Roevde believes the return to play plan for soccer is solid.

“Phase 1 was loaded with rules and regulations to keep our community safe and healthy,” he says.“RFC was very successful in this phase, and earned our members’ trust through professional planning and execution. There is no secret that it has been a huge test for us as an organization, because of the amount of staff and volunteers we needed to deliver our seven-week pre-season programs. We have to say it was nothing less than a massive success. We delivered around 10 sessions a day and always followed a minimum ratio of one coach for every five players. These were the guidelines set by viaSport and BC Soccer. We had every player in their personal space (grids) and dedicated waiting areas for entry and exit. Some clubs did not pay attention to these measures, and that is disappointing. We had more than 300 kids signing up for our pre-season programs and camps. This is impressive, since all registrations were basically with two weeks notice.”

Roevde believes parents and players appreciate that guidelines have been followed to a tee. He says it is likely why registrations for all Richmond’s fall and winter programs have been strong. More than 75 girls have signed up for the new girls’ program, featuring teams from U5 to U12.

Stepping into Phase 2 ,with scrimmaging and controlled game situations, changing everything. But Roevde says RFC is “delighted for the next phase and ready with all our programming.”

“We have some exciting new programs coming up. This is next level development programs soccer families haven't seen in BC before.”

On the ice, Richmond Ravens girls’ hockey was able to get back on the ice a few weeks ago with two power skating camps at the Richmond Ice Centre.

The association planned to start its regular season following Labour Day, but obviously with some adjustments.

“The season will look a little bit different, and we will all need to be flexible as we get back on the ice,” says president Shirlyn Baskette.“But we are excited to see everyone and get back to hockey. We are still sorting out all of the details of Stage 3 and working closely with the City of Richmond.”

Following the province’s Return To Sport Guidelines for Phase 3, in conjunction with the Richmond Olympic Oval’s safety protocols as they are updated, the Richmond Rockets speed skating club is also looking forward to a new season.

“No doubt the conditions that many families face will be challenging, particularly as it pertains to how our younger members can participate safely while their parents/guardians comply with these guidelines,” Alexander Teh says on behalf of the Rockets.“The Rockets will have its own volunteers to help during the drop off/pickup process as our athletes will undergo screening prior to ice time. We are hopeful that we have strong participation despite these hurdles.”

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