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School year with no sports? Not for these teens | Article

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Students say activities this year are different, but worth it

For 17-year-old Alleigh-Jane Williamson, last week was a big week.

Not only did she start her final year of high school, but she also resumed her competitive dance classes for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic put them on pause in March.

But things aren’t quite the same at her Thunder Bay, Ont. (Ontario) dance studio as they were before.

Alleigh-Jane said dancers now have to stay in their own squares, marked by tape on the studio’s floor, to ensure they remain physically distanced from one another.

There are no change rooms and every other chair in the waiting room is blocked off.

“It’s pretty different. It’s weird,” she told CBC Kids News.

Alleigh-Jane Williamson, 17, on stage during a competitive dance competition.

Alleigh-Jane Williamson, 17, is a competitive dancer who studies jazz, lyrical, hip-hop and ballet. (Image submitted by Alleigh-Jane Williamson)

Despite those changes, Alleigh-Jane said her classes, which take up about 10 hours of her time outside of school per week, are well worth it.

“I’m the kind of person who always needs to be doing something … I’ve stuck with that my whole life.”

A sign outside a school's soccer field informing people that the area is closed due to COVID-19.

Many schools across Canada have cancelled extracurricular activities this fall that can’t take place online. (Image credit: Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Do something you love

Like Alleigh-Jane, many students and instructors are finding ways to continue their extracurricular activities this fall — even if it means they aren’t quite the same as usual.

Alleigh-Jane’s advice to others is to stay involved in an activity you enjoy, but only if you can do it safely.

“Everyone has been inside since March,” she said.

“I think it’s important, especially for young kids, to get out and do some physical activity and something they love.”

Young ballet dancers dancing in a studio. They are all within their own space, marked by yellow tape on the floor.

Young dancers in their first day of classes for the 2020-21 dance season at Dance Dynamics Studio in Thunder Bay, Ont. (Ontario). (Image credit: Dance Dynamics Studio/Facebook)

Try sports that can be played by yourself

That advice is something brothers Clark and Ewan Webster are already following.

The pair from Winnipeg have found a sport they can do outside of school that gets out some of their pent-up energy: boxing.

Clark Webster, 12, punching a punching bag during his boxing class.

Clark Webster, 12, in a boxing class on Sept. 9. (Image submitted by Kerri Webster)

The brothers say they like the sport because it allows them to physically distance from others without the feeling that it’s much different than before the pandemic.

Clark said participants of their class on Sept. 9 remained in their own space while practising on their punching bags, speed bags and weights.

Everyone was responsible for wiping down any equipment they touched.

“It is very awesome to get some exercise,” said Clark, 12.

Ewan, 14, agrees.

“You have to keep your space between other kids, but other than that … it was pretty normal,” he told CBC Kids News.

Clark and Ewan Webster posing with their boxing gloves outside of their boxing club.

Clark, left, and Ewan Webster outside their boxing club, where they will be taking classes every week this fall. (Image submitted by Kerri Webster)

And after months of limited activities, Ewan said it’s nice to be involved in a sport that gets him moving.

“It’s just very fun to do stuff like learning a new sport,” he said. “And sweating a lot.”

Train on your own for team sports

Abdul Berete, 18, has had to get a bit more creative.

He’s entering his final year at Immaculata High School in Ottawa, where the football season is on hold because of COVID-19.

But despite the fact that he’s missing his last chance at a high school football season, Abdul’s not letting his disappointment stop him.

Abdul Berete in his workout gear, training on his school's soccer field.

Abdul Berete has been playing football since Grade 6 and hopes to one day play the sport professionally. (Image credit: Jean Delisle/CBC)

He’s been running drills by himself at his high school all summer and shooting videos to send to university and college scouts with the hope of eventually being able to play professionally.

“I have a big dream: I want to make it to the NFL [or the] CFL,” he told CBC News.

“I put in the work every day hoping I could get somewhere.”

It’s that same love of football, Berete said, that helps him stay motivated — both in school and out.

“It keeps me out of trouble,” he said with a smile.

Abdul Berete in mid-sprint down the soccer field.

Since his school’s football season was cancelled, Abdul Berete has been practising drills on his own. (Image credit: Jean Delisle/CBC)

His advice for others? Don’t give up.

“Just keep putting in the work, always focus on yourself,” Berete said.

“The season might be cancelled … [but] you still can do it.”


With files from CBC Ottawa

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Sports

Markham partially reopens sports, cultural facilities

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Preventing the spread of COVID-19 isn’t the only factor driving the partial reopening of sports and cultural facilities in Markham this month.

Residents will get their rec fix based on demand since council is not prepared to hit them with the required tax increase deemed necessary to open all of the city’s centres under current coronavirus protocols, Mayor Frank Scarpitti said.

“The operation of these facilities is already heavily subsidized by property taxpayers,” Scarpitti said, adding “council is not prepared to further burden residents with higher property taxes by reopening all of our community centres resulting in additional cost for services and dramatically less customers due to COVID-19 protocols.”


By offering recreation programs based on demand, it allows the city to evaluate services in order to control costs, he added.

Services will gradually resume at select arenas and soccer domes, pickleball, badminton and table tennis will restart at the Pan Am Centre, while the Aaniin Community Centre and the Angus Glen Tennis Centre will be open to sports groups and registered participants only.

If the city had resumed full operations at all of its recreation and cultural facilities, while also meeting the COVID-19 protocols, Scarpitti said it would have required a doubling of subsidies and an increased cost to taxpayers that would be the equivalent of an additional six per cent property tax rate increase.

Appointment-only visits will be implemented at cultural venues such as the Markham Museum and Varley Art Gallery. 

All programming at the Flato Markham Theatre has been cancelled, however, for the fall of 2020 due to current COVID-19 protocols.

Scarpitti thanked Markham residents for their continued co-operation with COVID-19 health and safety measures in effect in all reopened cultural and recreation facilities. The measures are in accordance with the province’s limits on facility capacities, York Region’s directive on the mandatory use of masks or face coverings and City of Markham policies.

“I am confident we will find a good balance between reintroducing safe and enjoyable recreation programs and cultural services, while minimizing the impact to our property taxpayers,” he said.

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Colorado Schools select sports moving to the fall

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COLORADO — The Governor’s office is giving schools the option to move football, field hockey, and sideline spirit to the fall, which was originally slated to start in the springs due to COVID-19.

The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) requested variances for remaining fall sports but they are still being considered by the Governor’s response team.

“I think they looked at the numbers and they looked at what can be done to safely put students back on the field,” Bert Borgmann, Assistant Commissioner with CHSAA.

Originally, the athletic schedule put in place for this school year was for football, field hockey and cheer to kick off in the spring. Schools like Harrison School District Two are sticking to that format.

“The original plan gave our athletes the opportunity to get on a field and participate, “said Dave Hogan. “There were state championships there and there were there for everyone.”

But others like D11 are bringing Friday night football back this fall. D11’s Athletic Director, Chris Noll says it’s partly due to the lessening of current restrictions.

“We just felt like we need to get the kids back to some normalcy,” said Noll. “We feel we can return safely.”

Regardless of what each school choses to do, CHSAA has a schedule for both seasons.

“A champion will be crowned in both A and C seasons and if there are some limited teams in C there will be some different types of scheduling that will be created,” said Borgmann.

Prior to the decision, several students and parents voicing their concern on there not being football in the fall.

“The reality of recruiting is, if you are high school senior at this point and don’t have a Division One offer, you’re not getting a Division One offer,” said Borgmann.

As for other fall sports who didn’t get lumped in with this current variance like boys soccer and girls volleyball, CHSAA says the governor’s office has yet to approve.

“We were disappointed we wanted our volleyballers to have an opportunity, they will compete till just be in season C,” said Noll.

As of Thursday, Harrison, Sierra, Canon City and the Classical Academy have decided to not move to the fall.

Response from the Governor’s Office:

“CDPHE responded to the requests that were submitted to the agency on Saturday of this past week, which included requests for football, field hockey, cheer and dance and volleyball. CDPHE provided conditional approval for the increased rosters for all of the outdoor sports that were listed in the letter, but denied the request for variances related to indoor sports. Soccer was not one of the sports included in Saturday’s letter.”

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Coronavirus: Big White Ski Club cancels annual ski, board and sport swap – Okanagan

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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has waylaid yet another popular event: Big White Ski Club’s annual ski, board and sport swap.

The popular event was scheduled to take place Oct. 23-24 at New Life Church along Harvey Avenue in Kelowna.

This week, though, organizers said this year’s gathering has been cancelled because of coronavirus guidelines and concerns.

Read more:
Coronavirus: Big White Ski Resort seeking Canadians for winter workforce

“This was a difficult decision to cancel our 50th annual ski, board and sport swap, but Covid-19 restrictions on group sizes and safety protocols would make it impossible to operate our largest fundraiser of the year,” said club president Dave Willoughby.

Funds raised by the swap help support around 150 youth athletes, says Willoughby. But this year’s cancellation is expected to have a significant impact on the non-profit club’s finances.

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COVID-19: Face masks to be mandatory at Sunshine Village for ski season


COVID-19: Face masks to be mandatory at Sunshine Village for ski season

Willoughby, however, is hopeful the swap will take place next year.

For more information about the Big White Ski Club, including how to donate, click here and here.




© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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