School sports kicked out from SSS gym

Writer says instead of limiting gym use, more effort’s needed to increase sport participation rates.

Recently the School Board Office (SBO) spent $110,000+ on refurbishing the SSS gym with electronic bleachers and a gym floor. Since then, access to the gym has been curtailed for certain school sports.

The SBO has categorized school sports into “outside sports” (soccer, track & field, rugby) and “inside sports” (volleyball, basketball). “Outside sports” are no longer allowed to train in the SSS gym and have been banished to the smaller gyms at Walnut Park or Muheim, subject to availability.

Rugby training consists of fitness training and ball handling skills – similar to basketball and volleyball training. Shoes and clothing is the same as that used in regular PE classes held in the gym.

Rugby / soccer teams prefer to practise on the fields as soon as possible, but the fields are only available from May 1. Respective seasons are over by May 31. In order to improve the standards of play, compete at zones and play at provincials, we need to start training earlier and the SSS gym is the most suitable venue. To expect children to walk across town to access other gyms in dark, wintery conditions will be demotivating to players, raises safety issues and will curtail recruitment of players.

Instead of the SBO focusing on limiting children in the gym, they should be putting more effort and resources into increasing sport participation rates.

SBO – a communique to parents and community regarding your recent actions with the SSS gym would be appreciated and would provide clarity.

Alan Slater

SSS rugby

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