More students are getting involved in school athletics, backed by more coaches, but some parents may need a little more coaching in spectator behaviour.
Delivering his 20th annual report, athletic council chairman Sean Lamoureux had mostly good news for Kamloops-Thompson School Board on Monday night.
Participation increased by 425 students in 2013-2013 despite a decrease in district enrolment, Lamoureux said. As well, 43 more coaches volunteered their time in 2012-2013, 28 of them teachers and 15 from the community at large.
Lamoureaux sounded a note of concern, however, over a decline in the number of football players and the folding of school teams as a result.
The rising cost of referees, a particular challenge for rural schools, is also troublesome, but there are moves to bring more refs into the fold.
“The volleyball refs agreed to give a discount to a team of 25 to 30 students. They will be certified.”
A similar plan is in the works for basketball, he added.
“Even in the elementary system, we are in a position now where we need more refs for important games. That’s something we need to look at.”
The council plans to form a committee to look at parent and spectator conduct. Lamoureaux called it a timing issue. In some cases, parents have approached refs and coaches in the middle of games when they have a bone to pick.
Concussion protection is another initiative, raising awareness among young football and rugby players.
“Every time a kid hits the boards I shudder, so I’m glad that continues to be a focus,” said Denise Harper, board chairwoman.
Lamoureux also tipped his hat to the volunteer organizers behind the AA basketball provincials, which were a fixture of the district athletic calendar for the last 14 years. The district no longer hosts the tournament.