More organized sporting activities and competitive play will be allowed in B.C. as it moves into Phase 3 of the Return to Sport Guidelines.

The B.C. Government said the guidelines contain recommendations for how different types of sports can progressively add activities back while adhering to public health recommendations.

“I know athletes and their families have been missing the joy of competition these past few months,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “viaSport has done a great job working with health officials and our amateur sports organizations to ensure we can safely and gradually return to game play. I encourage everyone – players, parents, coaches and volunteers – to continue to work together to make sure we can play and compete safely.”

The BC Centre for Disease Control has reviewed viaSport’s Return to Sport Guidelines for Phase 3, which contains guidance addressing contact activities, cohorts, competitions, high-performance training environments and travel.

“Sport is an important part of mental and physical health for children, youth, families and our communities,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer. “These guidelines will enable the social and emotional benefits of sport, while ensuring the sports activities remain as safe as possible.”

Under Phase 3, amateur sports may include additional training opportunities, modified games and matches and league play and competitions within sports cohorts.

“Team play and friendly competition are at the heart of amateur sport,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, chief executive officer, viaSport. “Now, as we enter Phase 3, we will start to see more sport activities in communities around the province. While these guidelines offer key parameters for the increase in sport activity, each sport will advance at a different pace depending on community capacity and readiness. I want to thank all of the staff, organizers and volunteers who continue to ensure amateur sport in B.C. is safe and fun for everyone. As we move forward, the health and safety of all participants are our number 1 priority.”

The Provincial Government said each sporting organization in B.C. may use overarching guidelines under Phase 3 to develop or revise its sport-specific plans.