High school sports set to resume in late November in Windsor-Essex
The return of extracurriculars is now just around the corner for students in Windsor-Essex.
High school sports will resume league play on Nov. 22 following a Windsor-Essex County Secondary Schools Athletic Association (WECSSAA) meeting on Monday night that dealt with any outstanding issues.
St. Joseph's Catholic High School vice principal and WECSSAA president, Jim Kittl, says between now and Nov. 22, convenors for each of the individual sports will be holding meetings to see what teams are involved to begin setting schedules.
"Practices can begin immediately provided that all of the student athletes who are out practicing or are participating in activities within the school have followed the vaccination requirements set forth by the health unit and the four school boards that are part of our partnership and then they're ready to go," says Kittl.
Schools will have until the second week of November to commit to participating this year.
Kittl says their first focus in November is on girl's basketball and boy's volleyball, those are the fall sports that are going to happen in the now.
"Five week seasons, one week playoffs," he says. "It'll be over by just after Christmas/mid-January. At the same time as that then the traditional winter sports such as boy's and girl's hockey, wrestling and we're still not sure about swimming. Not sure with the protocols having to do with the pools around town but those are the ones that can also go at this time."
Kittl says student athletes are getting ready and he feels the excitement in the schools.
"The whole process of watching kids go to a sign up sheet is really nice to have again after over a year and a half of not having that," says Kittl. "We were in the middle of soccer tryouts on March 9th when we got the word that we were shut down and that was pretty disappointing so now we've come full circle."
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit suspended extracurricular activities before the start of the school year to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Publicly-funded school boards in Windsor-Essex announced earlier in October that they would develop plans to allow students, staff and officials who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to take part in extracurricular activities.
The announcement came after the Health Unit called on school officials to develop a policy for extracurricular activities for fully vaccinated students.
With files from Aaron Mahoney