Bill 115 what happens to athletics?

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Written by: Joshua Lyons

While the main purpose of school is clearly academics, every school takes pride in how much they accomplish athletically. Go into the gym and look at all the banners that hang proudly from the ceiling, boasting some of this school’s great athletic accomplishments. Being an athlete myself I can tell you how excited I was to be a part of the senior boys basketball team. I had the chance to represent my school playing a sport I really enjoy, but I can also tell you the disappointment I felt when Mr. Roffman informed the team that the season was over before it even began. Thanks to our coach we had the opportunity to play in a three game tournament, but most students won’t get the chance to play any games this year. Things are even worse when you look at the grade 12’s that are graduating and the amount of talent that they take with them. But for now all we as students can do is be patient and hope that teams like basketball, wrestling, rugby, track, and baseball soon get their seasons back.

Written By: Maya Biderman

The passing of Bill 115 on September the 11th initially had very little effect on Harbord students. Though schools such as Runnymede P.S. stopped all extra curricular activities immediately, Harbord was fortunate enough to still go forward with all of its fall sports.

Neighbourhood elementary and middle schools, however, were not as lucky. Palmerston Avenue P.S. has had no sports teams at all this year, and young students who are only just old enough to finally participate in school sports had no teams to join.

At King Edward P.S., not only were all sports teams disbanded, including those that held tryouts at the end of last school year, but the beloved grade 8 grad trip is said to be cancelled.

While we were lucky to not feel the effects of the Bill as early as others, we are no longer as fortunate. The OSSTF has instructed its members to cease participation in all extracurricular activities, as well as some administrative ones.

Many winter season sports have just finished their tryouts. Which means that many students have committed early mornings to joining teams and beginning to practice for the season, only to find out that those teams will no longer be running.

Over the course of the past few weeks I have devoted much of my energy into getting a girls hockey team running at Harbord. All of the time put into scheduling ice time, finding a coach, and getting student interest has been in vain as the team will never play a game.

Furthermore, every year at our Athletic Banquet, athletes are praised for their dutiful commitment to teams over the course of the school year. In doing so, they strive to be recognized with our Junior and Senior H’s. It is the ambition of many students to graduate with Athletic Honours. The only way to do so is by joining a set number of sports teams. Without teams to join, how can we get this recognition?

I am grateful for how long our activities were able to last into the fall. Clubs like the Boys Athletics Association and the Girls Athletics Association held packed meetings right through November, and fall sports such as girls field hockey were able to enjoy an uninterrupted season. Let’s hope this gets worked out soon so that Harbord students and teachers alike can once again take part in our long standing tradition of athletic excellence.

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