Seasons came to a grinding halt for many of Cowichan’s soccer teams over the weekend after the various leagues got clarification about travel restrictions in relation to the most recent COVID-19 rules from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
“We have a temporary clarification that we can’t travel to other communities,” said Neall Rowlings, the manager of Cowichan’s adult soccer teams. “Sadly, this puts Cowichan in a tough spot.”
On the men’s side, Cowichan LMG, the 49ers and Steelheads were all slated to play on the weekend, as were Cowichan United and NIFA Pacific FC on the women’s side. None of those games happened, though the women’s teams are on standby as Nanaimo may fall under the cohort rule. They’re awaiting confirmation.
“The VISL [Vancouver Island Soccer League] and the LIWSA [Lower Island Women’s Soccer Association] have been very accommodating and I think acted extremely professional given all of the ever changing rules,” Rowlings said. “These are trying times for everyone and we are trying to stay safe and vigilant in our fight against the pandemic. We are waiting until clarification and we’re hopeful that the Dec. 7 timeline will hold and the cases will drop. We eagerly, as a community, want to play.”
Soccer will happen this weekend, however. The Div 3 Farm Store Fury faces off against Quw’utsun — both Cowichan teams. Rowlings said there is a strict no spectator rule.
“I will be there to try to leave parking available facing the field. I can’t stress this enough, this is our one shot,” Rowlings said. “We will abandon the game if spectators cannot stay away. I’m begging the community to help us let soccer be played and respect the recent announcement made by Dr. Bonnie Henry.”