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HomeNewsEfforts underway to stop steady decline in school sports participation in Quesnel

Efforts underway to stop steady decline in school sports participation in Quesnel

The number of students playing sports in school in Quesnel is on the decline.

District Superintendent Dan Lowndes provides some perspective.

“I think even Pre-COVID we were seeing a pretty steady decline in school sport participation, and since the impact of COVID we’ve seen a pretty significant decline since.    We know the importance of sports, just the same as theatre or any other pieces, participation for students is huge.  Those are the memories often that we remember about school, so we want to do anything we can in a small community to support those opportunities.”

Lowndes says a rule that BC School Sports has isn’t helping.

“The intention of this ruling that was put in a number of years ago was really was to prevent recruitment. The rule basically is you can’t attend one school and participate in a sport in another school.  So again it’s designed for sort of metro areas where you may want to live in Burnaby, but go to a school to play sports  in North Vancouver for recruitment purposes.”

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In Quesnel, Lowndes says it is making it difficult to have enough players for some teams.

“We only have the one junior high school and one senior school. A junior team is made up of grade 9’s and 10’s, and so we can’t have a team of nines and tens because they are at two different schools, so we have to have only a grade 9 team and a grade 10 team only, but we just simply don’t have the numbers to do it.”

Lowndes says they end up having to fold teams, and he says it has a snowball effect on the senior teams as well as they end up with fewer players.

He says they are working to change this rule.

“The Board is sending a letter of support this week.  And we’re meeting with BC School Sports throughout this week to try and advocate for some language change to that rule.”

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