Spectator-less games are part of the new sports landscape now.
And up and down the Okanagan, some minor hockey parents are feeling frozen out because they can’t watch their kids play.
One dedicated hockey mom in Vernon, Rhonda Catt, is picking up where her late husband left off regarding their two midget-aged sons.
“As a parent you love it, you love every minute of it,” said Catt. “As a mom, I feel like that’s one of the only things that brings me happiness.”
This year, however, because of COVID, the doors and stands at Kal Tire Place are closed to parents because Vernon Minor Hockey isn’t allowing anybody in for games.
“Nobody wants to come across as somebody that is anti-mask or anti-COVID or a conspiracy theorist,” said Katt, who just wants to watch her sons play, adding it’s breaking her heart that she can’t.
Regulations vary from association to association in B.C., but it’s the same story in Penticton.
“That decision has been made by rules and regulations that we have received from BC Parks and Recreation Association Public Health and BC Hockey and Via Sport,” said Penticton Minor Hockey president Kara Ouellette.
So Catt organized a meeting at the Kal Tire Place parking lot for like-minded hockey parents who can’t stand not being in the stands.
“Originally, we did want to have some sort of parent meeting where we could voice our concerns on where the limits are coming from or the inconsistencies of regulations,” said Catt.
That meeting, though, got iced because Catt said “it morphed into something completely different and what I felt was disrespectful to COVID.”
Catt feels parents could be allowed into arenas safely to watch games, but, at the end of the day, she’s just glad her kids can still play the game.