Sudbury Minor Hockey Association welcomes new vaccination rules
Northern Ontario sports leagues are preparing to implement new vaccine rules affecting coaches, officials and other volunteers.
This week, the seven public health units in northern Ontario jointly announced new COVID-19 vaccination requirements that go beyond those implemented by the province.
Under Ontario regulations, spectators at indoor sports facilities are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. But the province’s rules do not apply to volunteers or players under the age of 18 who enter the facility to play organized sport.
The new rules for northern Ontario mean that those who coach, referee or volunteer for an indoor sport will be required to show proof of vaccination. Players under 18 will continue to be exempt.
âWe are delighted with this,â said Tannys Laughren, board member of the Sudbury Minor Hockey Association and the association’s COVID-19 representative.
âUltimately our responsibility as a board and as an association is to keep our children safe, and that’s just one more layer of security that has been added for the season. hockey.
“We must protect our children”
Laughren said Sudbury Minor Hockey had already “strongly encouraged” all players to get the vaccine. She said that on a personal level, she would also support the requirement for proof of vaccination for players 12 and older. But she said the association was following rules set by the health units, the municipality and the Northern Ontario Hockey Association.
Laughren said she expects parents to support the new requirements. While she said there was a lot of excitement about finding the kids on the ice, there was also “a lot of trepidation.”
âOur parents obviously want their kids to be safe, even more than we do. And so a lot of parents have wondered why we don’t need a vaccine. But we, you know, we just explained it to themâ¦ I think. that parents are going to welcome this extra step, âsaid Laughren.
Shortly after the health units made the announcement this week, Laughren said the association sent an email to coaches and volunteers outlining the new requirement and quickly received “email after email. mail after e-mail with proof “.
Although she believes the vaccination rate is already high, she expects, based on overall statistics, that the league will lose a few volunteers due to the new rules.
âWhich is unfortunate because I mean our coaches and you know the coaches, assistant coaches and managers are all volunteers. So they do us a great service being part of our teams, but at the same timeâ¦ you know we have to keep our children safe. ”
Scorer Randy Pascal works with several teams and leagues, including Sudbury Minor Hockey. He said he understood the rationale for the new rules.
âIt’s something that I think most of us saw coming,â Pascal said.
Pascal said his hope “is that it moves a bit those people who may be sitting on the fence a little bit to be inclined to take action to get the vaccine, or at the very least take the time to really do the research and answer their questions that might worry them. “