"We can't gloss over the crucial role that school sports play in the mental and physical health of our youth” says Progressive Conservative Education Critic Tim Halman. “Without proper coordination, many schools won’t be able to run team sports this year.”
While Public Health has deemed it safe for 50 people to watch or participate in sporting events, many local schools are unable to book gym times past 6:00 p.m. to hold tryouts and games due to poor planning and coordination by the government.
Basketball and volleyball would normally be starting their Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation seasons at this time. Halman says that government should recognize the importance of sports for students’ mental health and put in more effort to make sure that sports seasons are able to happen.
“On one hand we have Public Health giving the green light for sports to resume, but on the other, an inability for gyms to be booked to hold the events,” says Halman. “Students are looking for some sense of normalcy, we can’t afford to hold them back from another sports season.”
A simple solution has to be found in coordinating resources and supporting custodial staff to do their work says a Dartmouth Lakers basketball coach, Michael Cosgrove.
"What do we have to do to support custodial staff to enable them to be able to keep gyms open past six o'clock?," asks Michael Cosgrove. "There has to be a solution that allows our students to return to the court and be able to participate in sports this year."
Halman says that the government should work with schools to help coordinate gym times so that kids can get back to being active.
“Our students have faced enough disruption, it’s time that we enable them to participate in sporting events in keeping with public health guidelines,” says Halman. “After what has been a difficult year, participating in sports will have a positive impact on the mental and physical health for our young people.”