Return to Sport Guidelines help B.C. sport organizations plan for reopening

AFTER review by WorkSafe BC, viaSport on Monday released the Return to Sport Guidelines to help sport organizations across British Columbia develop their own plans for a safe return to sport in communities around the province.

At the request of the Premier John Horgan and Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, viaSport has led the process of reopening amateur sport across B.C. Collaborating with the recreation sector and sport agencies, viaSport’s guidelines offer the next step in the phased approach to resuming sport and recreation activities.

“Sport organizations will play a key role in bringing people back together and in helping us heal from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Beare. “We know the importance of safely reopening our ice rinks, courts and fields so athletes, families, coaches and volunteers can return to sport. I want to thank viaSport for leading the work to ensure amateur sport organizations have the guidelines and necessary health measures in place to restart play.”

 “Over the past several months, sport organizations have had to cancel or postpone most of their activities around the province. We have all missed the opportunity to play, compete, cheer, volunteer, and support amateur sport in our communities. At viaSport, we are focused on supporting the return to sport and are pleased to distribute these guidelines,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, Chief Executive Officer at viaSport.

In accordance with the guidelines, and prior to resuming activities, sports are now creating their own detailed plans and are looking at how best to bring their sport, or aspects of their sport, back to the people of B.C. while considering the safety of participants, staff, suppliers, and the community. Plans must be made available to the public and key considerations for planning currently include, but are not limited to:

• maintaining physical distancing;

• minimal sharing of equipment;

• focusing on skill development and small group training;

• remaining focused on local communities.

“With its benefits to physical and mental health, communities and the economy, sport has the power to play a significant role in the recovery of the province from the pandemic. We are committed to leveraging this power through a safe and phased approach,” said Krepiakevich.