Vancouver, B.C. – Today, after review by WorkSafe BC, viaSport has 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 Horgan and Lisa Beare, the 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 Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture and responsible for Sport. “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,” says Charlene Krepiakevich, chief executive officer at viaSport. “Together, we can make amateur sport thrive again.”
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 an aligned approach to the return to sport,” added Krepiakevich.
About viaSport British Columbia Founded in 2011, viaSport British Columbia envisions a society where people and communities are truly healthy, vibrant and connected because they value and participate in sport experiences that are safe, inclusive and meaningful. With the support of the Province of British Columbia, viaSport manages approximately $16 M in sport, oversees more than 70 B.C. sport organizations, provides support for coach education and policy, and leads key initiatives to create more equitable opportunities in sport. Learn more on how viaSport transforms and scales the impact of sport at www.viasport.ca