While all the sports enthusiasts are eagerly waiting for the “green light” for sports to take off, we are hearing from Via Sport that we might return sooner thanks to help from the government.
There is one big “if” meaning all Provincial amateur sport organizations must comply with public health orders as well as the Provincial sport guidelines.
Mike Farnworth Public Safety Minister made it official by passing an order under the Emergency Program Act, which shields sports organizations and organizers from lawsuits if someone contracts or transmits COVID-19 as a result of their participation in organized amateur sport
BC Premier John Horgan told the media “The government has passed an order protecting all of these associations and their volunteers from any litigation as a result of COVID-19.”
He (Horgan) continued saying amateur sport “is really all about parents and volunteers, keeping organizations going and it involves community participation.”
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Lisa Beare, stated recently “We want to make sure children and their families can get the benefits of physical activity and get back to playing the sports they love,”
She goes on to mention “Many sports organizations are run by volunteers who need to make sure they are protected for risks related to COVID-19. This order will help cover that risk so people can safely get back to playing sports sooner in their communities.”
It’s mentioned that several Provincial sport organizations have identified various challenges and concerns which include obtaining adequate insurance as a result of the pandemic.
It’s fair to mention that many of the insurance companies will not be providing any form of coverage for COVID-19 related issues.
This naturally tells us that several amateur sports were unable to provide sport programming during the pandemic.
If in place it would mean that the Government order would protect amateur sport organizations as well as their representatives from any damages that resulted directly or indirectly, from COVID-19 for amateur sports.
For example, a sports organization or its representatives will not be liable for an individual participant in their sports program being exposed to COVID-19 as a result of any participation.
As long as they would follow the guideline the liability protection would be in place which would include ViaSport’s Return to Sport protocols on how to prevent any spread of the virus.
To many this makes sense which would include proper hand-washing, regular disinfecting, limiting shared equipment, physical distancing measures and the use of wellness questionnaires and health self-assessment tools.
Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO of viaSport mentioned “We are thrilled that sport is making its return in the province which is welcome news for our partners in the amateur sport sector.”
She continued “This coordinated response to address concerns around volunteer and staff liability means that these not-for-profit organizations can focus on delivering safe, high-quality sport experiences for the people in their communities.”
At present BC has 72 funded Provincial sport organizations and 4,100 local sport organizations and over 800,000 youth and adult participants throughout B.C.
Let’s all play safe and avoid any issues of “striking out” and falling short of the goal line!!