City of Kelowna reminding public that organized sports are still banned

Sports are still not allowed

The message from the City of Kelowna is clear - city sports fields are not open for organized, or large unorganized sports activities.

These are the same rules, outlined in health orders by from the provincial health officer, and adhered to by the city that have been in place for many months.

"It's not allowed," said city risk manager Lance Kayfish when asked about two teams of men, one in matching uniforms, who were spotted playing at the Mission Sports Fields Tuesday night.

"We have been in contact for probably a year with the Kelowna Men's Soccer League, and they have a message posted on their website about appropriate use of city fields, how to book, and under what conditions you can book."

Kayfish said he doesn't know if the men pictured are affiliated with the city's men's league, but said he does know fields are being used by people not following provincial health orders.

"Provincial health orders are currently allowing for youth sport activity for Phase 2 return to sport. That is non-competition, skills and drills only with safety protocols in place."

"We do have fields that are being properly booked by youth sport organizations that are approved for that Phase 2 return to sport plan.

"Adult competition sports are not allowed, although people are able to gather in groups, up to 10, also following those protocols. They are able to book a field and do those things that are allowed in groups of 10 and not playing games."

Kayfish says the city's goal remains the same as it has throughout much of the pandemic, education first.

The city has a field monitor who checks fields and tries to educate those who are not following the orders.

To date fines, which range from $230 for anyone participating in activities contrary to health orders to $2,300 for those organizing the activities, have not been levied against anyone engaged in sporting activities.

For the most part, Kayfish says people disperse after being approached.

The city is also bringing back its safety education ambassador program.

As they did last year, ambassadors will patrol beaches, parks, sports fields and areas such as Bernard Avenue reminding people about the safety protocols outlined by the provincial health officer.

"They will be our eyes and ears, and report any activity that is considered to be unsafe.

"We can then escalate enforcement to address situations as deemed appropriate."

They will be out in force in time for the May long weekend.

More Kelowna News