British Columbia requires vaccines for youth activity supervisors, including athletic coaches

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Coaches of youth sports teams must now be fully immunized if they are to continue working behind the bench.

According to a provincial health ordinance issued on October 25, an adult must have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine if he or she “directs, supervises or assists a program for children or youth, whether the program takes place indoors or outside .”

The ordinance applies to coaches of outdoor sports such as soccer and those who supervise or direct youth activities, including learning, art, drama and dance for those under the age of 22 years old.

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 youth programs. workplaces to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“The simpler part is clear: if you are supervising children’s sports, you should be vaccinated,” he said Thursday.

“It is not about applying or punishing anyone, it is about ensuring the safety of the activity, and that is 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 on the order next Tuesday.

More than 90 percent of eligible adults in British Columbia received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 85.3 percent received their second dose.

Football clubs jostle

Gregor Young, executive director of Vancouver United FC – a youth football club with more than 2,800 participants – said he was surprised and disappointed when he learned of the order on Wednesday.

“We thought we went through most of these restrictions,” he said. “We read it to mean that we need to collect vaccination confirmations… from all of our parent volunteers who work directly with the players.”

Young said large area clubs like Vancouver United have up to 1,000 parent volunteers who coach or help manage teams.

“It’s a challenge, especially when we weren’t warned ahead of time that it was coming and we were told it was effective immediately, so there is a lot of scrambling to develop forms. and collect that information, “he said.

Young said he hopes most parent volunteers are vaccinated and willing to share their records so that the impact on teams is minimal.

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