Students prevented from playing football

Dear editor,
It is with great sadness that I write this letter today on behalf of my son, his teammates, and their rivals.
Five years ago, my then- nine-year-old son discovered football. After several prior attempts at getting him interested in a team sport, a last ditch effort put him exactly where he needed to be. He put his whole heart and soul into the game.

Dear editor,It is with great sadness that I write this letter today on behalf of my son, his teammates, and their rivals. Five years ago, my then- nine-year-old son discovered football. After several prior attempts at getting him interested in a team sport, a last ditch effort put him exactly where he needed to be. He put his whole heart and soul into the game. Despite moving to a much smaller community the following year, he has continued to play, practice and be a leader in the sport. His goal – to play professionally.As a parent, I say, “good for you, son,” and I say that to all the other boys that are living the same dream.Sadly, for many boys, these dreams are being put on hold, being hung in a closet, or just being shrugged off. That is because this year, many of these boys may not play the game. Not because they are physically or financially unable to. No. They can’t play due to lack of enrolment. And not just in our community, but in several surrounding ones as well.But why is that? High schools are overflowing with kids — the number of portables at each school is a good indication of overcrowding.The answer is simple. Not every school offers every sport. And not every child wants to play the sports that are offered at the school he or she attends. Parents move into a neighborhood for various reasons; school sports are probably not one of them. So, now the problem lies within the rules of BC High School Sports organization.Kids are told they cannot play a sport because they do not go to the school that offers it and they are not allowed to represent another school that does. To add insult to injury, the school board is telling these same kids that they cannot cross borders because the schools are already overflowing with students.And even if they could cross-border, they cannot play the sport of their choice for one year. As a result of these rules, many teams are folding this year because the boys that want to play football live on the wrong blocks and go to the wrong schools.My question to the members of the board is this — why are you allowing teams to fold due to lack of registration in spite of the fact that there are ample children that want to play the sport but cannot?Physical exercise, team spirit, camaraderie, personal pride — are these not the things we strive for to achieve in our youth? We are currently at a standstill. You fix the problem or you accept the blame for the problem.As for my son, I will ensure that he plays ball. And I will do everything in my power to give him the chance to achieve his goal.He is very fortunate in that sense. I can relocate to a larger community, with more players; not something most families can do.I also realize that I may not be the parent of a future pro football player. But I may know the mother of one – unfortunately, we’ll never know, because he lives on the wrong block and goes to the wrong school.Ingrid PidsosnyEditor’s note: Ingrid Pidsosny is the secretary of Comox Valley Raiders Football.

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