I love covering sports. It's my passion. I hope that my love and passion for sport comes out in the writing I do for Coast Reporter every week.
September is my favourite time of year. Hockey season is just starting, as is soccer and the return to the high school sports scene.
I get a thrill every time I walk into the gym at either Chat or Elphi and interact with the amazing young talent we have here on the Coast.
Be it basketball, volleyball, wrestling or rugby, the sacrifice our high school athletes make is incredible. Our school teams have to fight tooth and nail to get home games, because most of the teams from the Lower Mainland can't be bothered to come to the Coast. So a lot of time is spent on ferries, late at night, doing homework after games, then trudging back to school and leaving early again to do it all over again the next day.
It's with this sacrifice in mind that I pen this column with a bit of amazement and bewilderment with the situation the Elphi senior girls volleyball team is faced with.
A colleague of mine at the North Shore News tipped me off last week to this story, which appears on page C2 of this week's sports section.
The Elphi girls have had a very difficult summer. Check that - the whole community has had a difficult summer.
The Coast lost two of its shining stars, Trina Borley and Hanna Anderson, in a car accident in early July.
Faced with getting over the loss of their friends and teammates, somehow the Cougars were going to find a way to press on and play this season.
Chat player Jennifer Brown offered to transfer to Elphi to ensure the Cougars could field a team and compete. It sounds like a great plan, right? Wrong.
B.C. School Sports, the governing body for athletes in this province, has regulations that state a player would have to sit out a year if he or she transfers schools. This rule is in place, I suspect, because several schools in the Lower Mainland in the past have tried to transfer in top student athletes to try to tip the scales in their favour.
I agree with the policy and see the reason why it's enforced. And so does Elphi, which is why they appealed the regulations on the grounds of extraordinary circumstances.
That appeal was denied because, according to B.C. School Sports, the request is beyond their scope and authority and they don't consider this to be an extraordinary circumstance. Not an extraordinary circumstance? Are you kidding? A situation doesn't get more extraordinary than this!
All the coaches on the North Shore are in favour of the move and support Elphi's request. Everyone wants to see Elphi field a team, be competitive and play for a league banner.
I know rules are in place, but in this case, rules can be broken. The team, its coaches, players, parents and the school should be commended for fighting through this adversity.
I only hope that when Elphi appeals their decision this weekend in Richmond, the board sees fit to change their minds and let the girls play. It's the right thing to do.
These kids have already suffered enough loss. Don't take away their season too.