Vic High’s Milly Tsiatas and Lambrick Park’s Sheri Goodmanson battle for the ball during Tuesdays’ game at Vic High. Lambrick won 8-0 on goals by Goodmanson

BCTF vote not enough to stop sports

Saanich teachers involved in high school sports finding ways to continue

Labour politics be damned, nothing’s going to stop high school sports on the South Island.

Regardless of whether this week’s B.C. Teachers’ Federation vote passes, plenty of high school sports programs in Greater Victoria have plans to continue even if there’s an official mandate for unionized teachers to withdraw from voluntary extracurricular activities in protest of Bill 22.

High school sports such as girls soccer, boys rugby, the School Bike League and track and field are all carrying on. Even more are about to get going with golf and tennis among the next seasons to start up.

“It’s not a good time for athletics,” said School Bike League commissioner Eric Simonson of Oak Bay High. “Many coaches (like me) think it is unfair to withdraw from extracurricular (activities).”

Simonson said negotiations involving the teachers’ union usually don’t touch extracurricular activities.

“I know other coaches will keep coaching despite the vote.”

Coaching is among the extracurricular activities that teachers in the Saanich School District, which covers the Peninsula and the northern edge of the municipality of Saanich, have already agreed to withdraw from.

“It’s a big grey area that’s been left up to the individual (teachers), with most continuing for now,” said Darren Reisig, athletic director at Claremont secondary.

“Claremont continued with all sports, but who’s doing what is up to that school or individual. If teachers aren’t doing it then community coaches (and parents) have stepped in.”

In some cases, practices and games have been a little less formal.

In the event it doesn’t pass, the local recommendation would stand, likely to be revisited at next month’s general meeting.

“This is not a cut and dry picket line, (in terms of) what would happen if a teacher continues,” said Sean Hayes, Saanich Teachers’ Association president.

“We’ve seen a prohibition on extracurricular before, in the early 2000s. I don’t remember anyone being sanctioned, but I do remember colleagues angry at colleagues, and teachers who continued to coach.”

Meanwhile, private schools Glenlyon Norfolk, Saint Michaels University, St. Andrew’s and Pacific Christian are helping to carry the load. Sharing the commissioner duties for the city’s track and field league are St. Andrew’s teachers Angela McLeish and Kevin Mennie. They’re able to offer ongoing support without facing any potential sanctions.

Likewise, St. Mikes’ teacher Eliot Anderson is the high school rugby commissioner.

“Many of our games are scheduled against independent schools so they’ll happen anyways. We wouldn’t be looking for games, we have a full schedule. We’ve got kids who’ve paid for the experience and we’ll give it to them.”

Anderson’s also heard some schools might not look for extra games as a show of support, should it come to that.

As for the school cycling league, Simonson intends to keep it alive however he can.

“I have many parents that can fill in for me if my union frowns on my participation.”

Just Posted

HarbourCats bats hot in home return

Victoria squad downs Yakima Valley Pippins 17-2

Witness the passion and fire of flamenco in Victoria this July

Seventh annual Victoria Flamenco Festival features free and ticketed performances downtown

Sidney youth bowl over the competition, head for nationals

Youngsters take Mens and Womens Singles Championships at recent tournament

West Shore resident, local officer encourages women to take control of their safety

Kris Greffard is posting short videos with safety tips for women using local trails and parks

Police and Indigenous communities pull together in 10-day canoe journey

Victoria Police Department, Ministry of Children and Family Development took part in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read