Vancouver Island sports leagues react after adult team sports suspended

Vancouver Island sports leagues react after adult team sports suspended
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From hockey to soccer to curling, all adult team sports have been suspended in B.C. and some say it will impact mental health.

Adult hockey is officially on hold as B.C.’s provincial health officer suspends all adult team sports.

“A number of these adult team sports are really very much social gatherings as well as sport and unfortunately those types of gatherings are leading to transmission events that are happening,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry.

It’s a move that comes after an old-timers hockey team from the interior travelled to Alberta and came back with COVID-19.

“And now there are dozens of people that are infected and it has spread in the community, we need to stop right now,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry as she issued the new order on Wednesday.

It’s tough to swallow for Eric Yue who helps organize adult hockey in Greater Victoria and says it’s sad one group has ruined it for all the others.

“My initial reaction was I was quite upset,” Yue said.

Because Yue says his league has been working hard to do everything right and keep the game safe for everyone.

“We had to alter our roster numbers, the times when players could show up, getting dressed before they arrived at the arena,” he said.

READ MORE: B.C. reports 694 new cases of COVID-19, 10 new in Island Health as daily deaths stay high

Hockey is just one on a list of adult sports now suspended that includes soccer, martial arts, bowling, volleyball and lacrosse.

But the Ministry of Health says individual sports like golf, tennis and pickleball can go ahead.

There was some confusion around curling. It wasn’t mentioned in the original order, leaving Curl BC to tell its members they were good to keep playing but then it too was added to the list Thursday afternoon.

“Obviously we really want to curl but I wouldn’t support that at the expense of the safety of the members,” said Torben Wilson, President of the Esquimalt Curling Club.

Those who play tea sports say it’s been a critical outlet through this pandemic.

“It’s really important for people to find something that addresses their mental health, their physical health,” said Yue.

“People just need to do something other than work and go directly home and this is one of those things that we lost,” he said.

Yet Yue and others agree, the main goal right now is safety.

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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