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

Creston Valley Hospital. Photo: Aaron Hemens
‘Wear your mask, because it’s the best shot we’ve got’: Creston Valley Hospital’s Chief of Staff

“Hard things are much easier to do if we stay connected. This virus is doing its very best to undermine our unity. Remember, we are fighting a virus, not each other,” writes Dr. Nerine Kleinhans

A man wearing a face-mask walks past protestors at a rally against COVID-19 health measures in Creston on Nov. 28. Photo: Aaron Hemens
Creston residents rally against COVID-19 health measures

More than 100 community members of all ages were in attendance, and many were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

This picture of Taghum resident Marc Savard was taken in February when he first spoke to the Nelson Star and little was known about the virus that had shut him out of his job in Wuhan, China. Photo: Tyler Harper
VIDEO: Once an outlier, Nelson man’s COVID-19 experience now typical

Savard was living in Wuhan, China, when the pandemic began

A still frame from “Wheels”. Submitted by Mark Wolfe
Creston short film wins festival award

“Wheels” was selected as one of the recipients of a merit award for the Canada Shorts film festival

One of seven kitties rescued from a property east of Grand Forks Friday, Nov. 27. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks women rescue sick kitties from rural property

Kimberly Feeny and Lisa Valenta spent their Friday nursing seven cats rescued east of the city

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

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

2020
Urban wildlife Part VI: The East Kootenay birds of autumn

The work of local photographers printed in the pages of the East Kootenay Advertiser throughout 2020. Part VI.

Most Read