High School Sports: Taking long view will help us get through

When clearance has been received to return to play, SDSSAA will return to the grindstone

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No doubt, there were some long faces in the community as the decision to impose an immediate pause on all SDSSAA-scheduled games was announced earlier this week.

The announcement came in reaction to decisions reached at the board and school level to put a hold on all training and competition effective immediately and until further notice.

The full stop comes as girls volleyball and girls and boys curling were set to open their seasons — already twice delayed — on Monday, while Nordic skiing did manage to successfully host its first preliminary meet this past Thursday, albeit for a reduced field.

As unfortunate as this revelation is, it is equally not surprising, with news of COVID infections ramping up and an increasing number of schools both at the elementary and secondary level closing, sending classes home, or isolating portions of its student body and/or staff.

Considering their clientele, one should expect schools to be risk adverse, to act out of an abundance of caution to mitigate any outside threat, and that’s exactly why this is the right thing to do at this specific moment in time.

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Critics may strongly disagree and point to an increasing number of organized activities that have been taken away from young people since the pandemic began last year and, of course, this is impossible to dispute. Mental health and healthy physical activity tend to be sacrificed to some degree in such times, but constantly addressing this with positive messaging and entertaining ideas to substitute activities for those on temporary delay will do wonders to fill the void.

Feeling anxious? Reach out to a family member or a close friend. Can’t practise or play a sport with your team? Run through some drills on your own, take a walk in nature, join an online fitness class, try a new skill like yoga.

Granted, none of these things are the same as what is being lost, but staying positive and taking the long view will help us all get through it, as long as it takes.

Since this school year began, SDSSAA has remained true to its mandate to offer programming where schools express interest, and where all necessary approvals and permissions from stakeholders have been granted.

Rest assured that when clearance has been received to return to play, SDSSAA, without delay, will return to the grindstone.

What this might look like for the remaining winter sports will be covered next week.

High school notes

As noted above, all SDSSAA-scheduled games and competitions are postponed until further notice.

Dave Makela is the athletic administrator for the Sudbury District Secondary Schools Athletic Association. His column appears weekly during the high school sports season.

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