Track and field still on hold
Cyclists and golfers are out of luck, but most other high school athletes looking to compete in provincial championships late next month should be able to do so.
B.C. championships in eight spring season sports were put into question last week when 73 per cent of the voting membership of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation cast their ballot in favour of withdrawing involvement in extra-curricular high school activities.
The action is to protest the government’s proposed Education Improvement Act, which imposes a settlement on public school teachers.
Teachers withdrawing their services as coaches or sport administrators has led to mountain biking and golf led to the cancellation of their provincial championships.
But B.C. School Sports executive director Sue Keenan said most other sports are a go.
“Girls soccer, rugby, tennis and badminton are on,” she said Wednesday afternoon. “The entire provincial experience might not be the same without banquets and (souvenir) clothing.
“But the commissions are doing the best they can.”
One of the largest sports by participation is track and field, which hasn’t made a decision on whether they will proceed. Registration numbers will be tallied this week, and a decision is expected soon after.
“Everyone is asking about track and field, but we won’t know until late Friday or early next week,” said Keenan. “It’s an event that includes thousands of athletes, so the (track and field) commission is doing their due diligence. They want to make sure there’s enough kids able to compete.”
Much of the high school track and field season for local schools has been wiped out, but the May 15-17 Fraser Valley Championships are on.
It was announced earlier this week the meet – which qualifies athletes for the B.C. Championships June 1-2 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby – will take place in Langley.
However, there will only be a Senior division for athletes in Grades 10-12. The Junior (Grades 9-10) and Grade 9 championships are canceled for 2012.
Also canceled this year are three qualifying events leading up to the Fraser Valley Championship meet, including tomorrow’s Coquitlam/Delta regional qualifying meet and the Surrey District Championships next week at South Surrey Athletic Park, North Surrey Secondary and Bear Creek Park.
High school girls soccer is going ahead, although four teams have withdrawn from the Fraser Valley West Senior AAA zone due to the job action. As a result, the season has ended for players on the Guildford Park Sabres, Kwantlen Park Timbervolves, Frank Hurt Hornets and Johnston Heights Eagles.
The Fleetwood Park Dragons will host the Senior AAA provincial championships May 31 to June 2 at Newton Athletic Park. Kamloops will host the Senior AA competition on the same dates.
As with most sports, more volunteers will be needed to replace the teachers unable to assist with the operation of the tournaments.
“We’re getting great support from many parents who are stepping up,” Keenan said. “We have to mention that.”
Keenan advises athletes, parents, community coaches and anyone else seeking information to go to the BSSS website at www.bcschoolsports.ca.
“We update the website as fast as we get information,” said Keenan.