When new public health orders from Dr. Bonnie Henry came through, there was some initial confusion.
After a couple days it became clear — all adult sports in the province must stop.
In Quesnel, that means wide cancellations. All curling has been suspended. Skating by adult groups and rec hockey has been put on hold. A planned flag football tournament set for Dec. 13 had to be cancelled.
The Quesnel Kangaroos senior hockey team, despite cancellation of the Central Interior Hockey League season, had been practising to keep in shape and had scheduled an exhibition game. While the game had already been cancelled, now practices are as well.
The Quesnel Seniors’ Centre had been hosting pickleball games nearly every day of the week, with intricate schedules to reduce risk. Those are now done.
“There are many sports not listed [in the order], including tennis and badminton, etc.,” Quesnel Pickleball Club president Sharon MacDonald said in a Facebook post. “This could have been clarified better, but from the call (with ViaSport) all sports are cancelled.”
Quesnel Curling Club manager Dave Plant had hoped the distanced nature of the sport would allow games to continue at the curling centre, but it was clarified that curling was included in the orders.
Plant said the club’s junior program is in jeopardy, as opening the facility for only a couple hours a week brings logistical and financial challenges.
“We have a pretty nice nest egg, and we knew going in we could jeopardize that next egg,” he said. “The way our return policy was to our members was if we made it until Christmas, the worst-case scenario would only pay back half their dues. Right now, we’re pretty close to Christmas, so we’re hoping it works out that way.”
While adult sports are outright cancelled, even youth minor sports are affected by the new order, moving back to Phase 2 of their reopening plan. No games are allowed between even local teams; instead, only practices that focus on skill development are allowed.
While Quesnel and District Minor Hockey Association (QDMHA) has been able to continue programming for all ages, soccer wasn’t so lucky.
“Thank you for supporting your kids during this challenging times,” QDMHA communications officer Carlos Gonzalez posted on Facebook. “They are all having fun, and all the coaches are doing their best to keep everyone engaged and learning.”
According to Quesnel Youth Soccer facility co-ordinator Oliver Hitch, the U5/6 and U6/7 groups are suspended.
“It’s tricky with younger players to enforce physical distancing,” he explained.
Hitch added the club is still planning to expand its programming in the new year if public health orders are updated.
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