Alberta allows limited school and team sports

·2 min read

Jasper Minor Sports cancelled the rest of the current hockey season to prioritize the safety of players coaches and parent spectators.

But with an announcement from the province on Feb. 8, there’s optimism that a practice season will be up and running, said Alex Derksen, president of Jasper Minor Sports.

While all games continue to be prohibited, lessons, practices and physical conditioning activities are allowed for children and youth under 18 years of age involved in minor sports and school athletics.

“Things are looking favourable for a shortened season,” Derksen said.

This is Step 1 of Alberta’s four-step framework to ease restrictions. A decision on Step 2 will be made after three weeks if there are 450 or fewer hospitalizations and the number is declining.

“Alberta’s government is committed to supporting the health and well-being of children and youth provincewide,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro in a release. “While these activities are included in Step 1, there are strong measures in place that must continue to be followed. Let’s all continue doing our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health system that every Albertan relies on.”

The Municipality of Jasper is working with Jasper Minor Sports, as well as Jasper Gymnastics Club and Jasper Dance Program, to provide access to the Activity Centre and Arena for youth activities. Minor hockey could resume by Feb. 22.

With that, Derksen said there will be “some form of hockey for youth.” Organizers will plan schedules accordingly if the shortened season goes ahead.

The province said while limited indoor and outdoor activities for school and minor sports are allowed, strong public health measures remain in place:

As access to change rooms will be limited, participants and coaches should come dress in appropriate equipment. The Activity Centre and Arena will remain closed to the public at this time, including to parents and spectators.

As well, gymnastics may resume as early as Feb. 10 and dance is planned to resume March 1.

The municipality said inquiries for each activity should be directed to program organizers. This includes details on drop off locations and facility access.

Check the municipal website and Facebook page for information as it becomes available.

Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh