Surrey school district cancels start of football despite volunteers

SURREY — While young football players in surrounding school districts are able to start their season on time in spite of the ongoing teachers’ strike, Surrey players have been sidelined after the district decided they could not begin without a teacher.

According to Frank Hurt Hornets coach Duane Linnen, the plan was to get the season started using community volunteers unrelated to the teacher strike. Teams in some districts, such as Delta, are doing just that, while others are continuing to run on a volunteer basis.

“All of it is at the discretion of our volunteer community coaches,” said Delta communications manager Cindy Anderson.  “If such a thing is needed our administrators are overseeing anything like that.”

However Surrey’s teams were given the no-go from the district this week, which cited that a school event could not occur without teacher involvement.

“It’s disheartening, I know we’re (counted) under high school but it would be nice to give these boys a couple of games,” said Frank Hurt Hornets coach Duane Linnen. “So right now, we’re just training and the kids, they’re really anxious and disappointed they couldn’t play.”

Surrey school district spokesman Doug Strachan said the decision came about after it was decided that school events could not occur without teacher involvement.

“We received a letter from the senior administrators of the district that no school events — including extracurricular activities — could go ahead while we were in a strike,” said Strachan.  

Strachan said because the students would be competing under their school’s banner, they would be considered a school-related function.

“If they were not on school property and not sanctioned in any way by the school it would be a community event and that’s not something we would have any connection to,” he said. “If the school and district are involved or in any way connected with it, then we can’t carry on with it.”

However, all is not lost. Linnen said as a result of the strike, the BC High School Football Association is re-arranging its season schedule so the teams that are unable to play now would be able to make up the games towards to the end of the season.

“We’re hoping by mid-October that everything get settled, and so the first game we miss would be a make-up game towards the end of November,” he said.

Twitter @Questionchris

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