Coaches of youth sports teams must now be fully vaccinated if they want to continue working behind the bench.
According to a provincial health order issued Oct. 25, an adult must have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine if they are “directing, supervising, or assisting in a children’s or youth program, whether the program is indoors or outdoors.” the outside”. .”
The order applies to coaches of outdoor sports like soccer and people who supervise or lead youth activities including learning, art, drama and dance for people under 22. year.
British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix said the order responds to concerns expressed about parents who have children enrolled in organized youth programs, which he says are less structured than workplaces when it comes to limiting the spread of COVID-19.
“The simplest part is clear: if you supervise children’s sports, you should be vaccinated,” he said Thursday.
“It’s not about enforcing or punishing anyone, it’s about keeping the activity safe, and that’s why the provincial health official made this decision,” he said. he added.
Dix said the province is working with sports organizations across the province and will release more details of the order next Tuesday.
Over 90% of eligible adults in British Columbia have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 85.3% have received their second dose.
Football clubs are scrambling
Gregor Young, executive director of Vancouver United FC – a youth soccer club with more than 2,800 participants – said he was surprised and disappointed when he learned of the order on Wednesday.
“We thought we got through most of those restrictions,” he said. “We read it in the sense that we need to collect vaccination confirmations… from all of our parent volunteers who work directly with the players.”
Young said big clubs in the area like Vancouver United have up to 1,000 parent volunteers who coach or help run the teams.
“It’s difficult, especially when we weren’t given advance notice and told it was effective immediately, so there’s a lot of scrambling to develop forms and collect this information,” did he declare.
Young said he hoped most parent volunteers would be vaccinated and willing to share their records so the impact on teams would be minimal.