The Toronto District School Board, TDSB, and its elementary athletic association has made a last-minute announcement stating that all those thousands of students who have received private coaching through their parents, since the teachers were chasing off the Ontario’s government in protest, are now ineligible to able to participate in the upcoming competitive meets.
Majority of the parents had to intervene in this school year’s start for coaching the teams as the teachers were not having enough volunteer time as they also had to protest against the Ontario government’s decision for legislating the terms of their contracts. Now it has been declared that all those teams which did not have a TDSB staff member for training are not qualified to register for the meet. This seems rather unfair in the light that these teams were previously supposed to be fully accommodated.
The spokesperson of the school board, Ryan Bird, stated that it is “for safety reasons we can’t allow these unregistered students to participate.” Bird explained that TDSB has arranged four sites for the races to take place this week and they are already filled. He mentioned that it will be ‘too crowded’ in case the unregistered participated teams are allowed in the races. It is interesting to notify, that last year roughly 20,000 elementary students had registered for the season’s first regional competitions. Whereas, just 11,000 students or 150 schools have registered this year, while the rest are unable to register because did not have a teacher leading their team.
The TDSB says that it is finding an alternate solution for accommodating the unregistered athletes, which might include scheduling more competitions later. Bird announced that “we’re looking at alternatives so that they can have the experience of the run.”
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