The ‘new normal’ for hockey parents in Chilliwack and elsewhere in B.C., watching their kids from outside of the arena due to COVID-19 protocols. (Submitted photo)

The ‘new normal’ for hockey parents in Chilliwack and elsewhere in B.C., watching their kids from outside of the arena due to COVID-19 protocols. (Submitted photo)

Chilliwack hockey parents petition to be let back in the arena

Refused access due to pandemic protocols, parents are now applying pressure to loosen the rules

Chilliwack hockey parents are getting behind a petition to let them back into the rink to watch their children play.

The petition was started a week ago by someone named Jennifer B, and as of Tuesday morning 85 people had signed on.

It targets an edict by the City of Chilliwack, following guidance from the Provincial Health Authority, capping the number of people in a hockey facility at 50. Once two teams are in the building, accompanied by coaches and trainers, there’s little or no capacity left for spectators.

“If we can go in numbers greater than the maximum put forth by the City of Chilliwack to places such as shopping malls and grocery stores we can certainly attend a minor hockey game, practicing mindful distancing and if you choose, to wear a mask,” the petition creator wrote. “It is very funny how we can have a school full of kids, all their teachers under one roof but not a rink full of kids and all their parents under one roof. Simply have the rink staff keep the washrooms disinfected and maintain mindful distance from one another.”

A parallel petition started by someone named Nicole Hicks is aimed at ViaSports, the governing body for amateur sports in B.C.

That one has 3,595 signatures to date.

“I full on ugly cried watching Dryden play his first game of the season on TV,” said Chilliwack hockey parent Consuelo Floystrup, who serves as health and safety officer for her daughter’s team but has to watch her son remotely. “Such mixed emotions! Happy he’s on the ice doing what he loves and grateful we have a hockey league, but heartbroken for all of our hockey community that we can’t be together.”

Floystrup said Chilliwack Minor Hockey parents are a tight-knit group, and she feels all of the local rinks are big enough to accomodate a physical-distancing solution.

She also said there may be medical concerns. Both of her children have type-one diabetes and need their parents near by in case of emergencies.

Other people seem to agree, for various reasons, based on comments attached to both petitions.

“Children thrive knowing their parents are physically present and cheering for them at their sports activites,” wrote Fiona Ehrenholz.

“I understand the need to keep group numbers down, but I’m not sure that just saying 50 across the board for everything is the right answer,” Andrea Deen added. “The size of the location/venue should be considered. An arena seems like it would be plenty big enough for parents to distance.”

“The players and parents are separated by half-inch plexiglass, come on,” Jason Weinberger said. “I feel safer at the rink than at Walmart. The rule should be six feet apart in the stands, end of story.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

chilliwackCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Snowfall warning issued for Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and surrounding communities.
Snowfall warning issued for B.C.’s Interior

Between 10 - 15 cms of snow expected in the Prince George, Stuart - Nechako region

Fort St. James Secondary School announced a confirmed incident of COVID-19 exposure at the school. (Black Press file photo)
COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Fort St. James Secondary School

Northern Health will be following up directly with anyone who is identified as a close contact

RDBN board meeting. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Thiessen and Parker re-elected to RDBN board

The board voted unanimously on Nov. 19

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Fatty Legs co-author responds to Abbotsford class assignment on residential schools

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
B.C. man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009. (RCMP photo)
Human remains found off U.S. coast in 2009 identified as Penticton man

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond speaks to a reporter in Vancouver on November 13, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
No evidence that B.C. ER staff played blood alcohol level game, but Indigenous racism ‘widespread’

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond releases findings of independent investigation

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Most Read