Scott Wheatley stands with the main Kenyan and Ugandan umpiring crew that he trained at the Nakirebe Complex outside of Kampala in 2020. Wheatley, a member-at-large with Softball B.C. is supporting a recent open letter from the sporting body that calls on the government to reinstate gameplay for kids in organized sports. (Photo: Submitted)

Scott Wheatley stands with the main Kenyan and Ugandan umpiring crew that he trained at the Nakirebe Complex outside of Kampala in 2020. Wheatley, a member-at-large with Softball B.C. is supporting a recent open letter from the sporting body that calls on the government to reinstate gameplay for kids in organized sports. (Photo: Submitted)

Softball B.C. urges provincial health officer to lift ban on gameplay for kids in organized sports

Sporting body sent open letter to both Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix

Softball B.C. is urging the provincial health officer to lift the ban on gameplay for kids in organized sports.

The sporting body sent an open letter to both Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix asking them to reconsider the current practice-only model for young athletes.

“On behalf of our members of Softball B.C. and the many softball players across our province, we would like to strongly request a return to play, including games, as soon as possible for softball.”

The letter was sent out on behalf of Softball B.C.’s executive director Rick Benson and president Graeme Duncan.

“At a minimum, we would like to see restrictions eased off immediately to the same level as September, 2020 to permit competitive games within a controlled cohort, and with an objective of full resumption of play by this summer.”

The letter noted softball is a low-contact sport and lends itself well to physical distancing.

The April 5 open letter comes on the heels of a Langley man urging the government to do the same.

On March 29, Brent Larsen held a press conference in Langley in an effort to get the provincial health officer to allow children’s gameplay to resume.

Larsen has also started a petition and as of April 9 had 2,700 signatures. The petition can be found by googling “open sporting games for BC children”

SEE ALSO: Organizer of kids sports petition undeterred by B.C. tightening COVID-19 rules

“We want to see the data that shows it’s unsafe for kids to play outdoors,” Larsen said at the press conference. “I call on the health authorities to let kids play.”

Softball B.C.’s open letter also also asked the government to provide data and “empirical justification” for the current bans on games for kids in softball.

“Help us by providing justification for the phase we are currently in, and so we can demonstrate that these protocols and criteria are paving the way for the fastest and safest pathway back to sport as we know it.”

The open letter also noted everyone involved in softball had worked together to meet and exceed province-mandated safety rules.

“We have done this in order to do our part to provide healthy outdoor physical activity and social interaction under the safest conditions we can.”

Scott Wheatley, member-at-large for Softball B.C.—and also executive director for the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, said he’d like to see the kids back playing games too.

“We want kids on the field playing. As long as they can be playing in a safe way.”

He said Softball B.C. proved last year they could implement all safety protocols and play games safely in cohorts.

“We’d like to go back to where we ended the season last year,” said Wheatley. “We had cohorts of up to 100 players and coaches, which was basically five to six teams that played each other.”

(Story continues below Softball B.C.’s letter.)

Benson and Duncan also ask Henry and Dix to give them a timeline for a return to play for all sports and cited inconsistencies in restrictions in relation to other sports organizations.

“Our members are growing restless and without having a clear understanding of why we are under certain restrictions and not having a sense of when we might see opportunities for play, we are fearful that a significant number of our local sport clubs will not be able to sustain their volunteers and participants and we may lose those organizations and their history, permanently.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

(Clockwise, from top-left) Brenda DeJong, Carol Jones, Marcia Strang, Cathy Collis and Mark East star in the upcoming Sidekick Players Zoom presentation of the Norm Foster play “Halfway There,” directed by Carroll Lefebvre, on May 22, 2021. (Submitted photos)
Delta’s Sidekick Players continue ‘Foster Zoom Fest’ with ‘Halfway There’

Tsawwassen-based theatre company hosting another online performance on Saturday, May 22

Sergeant Mike Sanchez of the Surrey Gang Enforcement Team speaking with students. (Photo: RCMP).
Surrey RCMP’s anti-gang program goes virtual amid COVID-19 pandemic

Presentations aimed at youth available to be booked

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Discussions about Surrey-owned land in Langley should be behind closed doors, councillors say

That’s what Councillors Brenda Locke, Jack Hundial and former Surrey mayor Bob Bose say

Little House Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Society COO Debbi McKenzie stands in front of the society’s namesake facility with Phoenix Drug Alcohol Recovery and Education Society CEO Keir Macdonald. (Submitted photo)
Delta’s Little House Society merging with Surrey-based Phoenix Society

Merger ‘came together in a really organic way’ as societies have been working together for two years

Elsje Hannah stands in the old safe at the Healing Place Counselling Centre in the Dale Building. Hannah converted the old safe into a chapel-area for quiet reflection for clients at her practice, which includes the not-for-profit Soul Matters Counselling. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Not-for-profit counselling service opens in Cloverdale

Soul Matters Counselling is located on 176th in the Dale Building

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Mandarin Garden in Abbotsford had two event tents set up for outdoor dining. One of the tents, valued at more than $5,000, was stolen early Friday morning (May 14). (Submitted photo)
UPDATE: Dining tent stolen from Abbotsford restaurant is located

Owner says it would have cost more than $5,000 to replace the rented event tent

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Police are at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary but the students have been evacuated. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Gardener finds buried explosives, sparking evacuation of Cowichan school

Students removed from school in an ‘abundance of caution’

Most Read