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Kerry Park Islanders pause season due to COVID orders

Safety and solidarity with older players named as reasons
Reid Fitzpatrick and the Kerry Park Islanders haven’t played since Nov. 20. (Citizen file)

The Kerry Park Islanders have elected to put the 2020-21 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season on hold until January.

According to a statement posted by owner, general manager and head coach Brandon Cox on Tuesday, Dec. 8, the reasons for stopping the season are twofold: for the safety of the players, staff and community during the COVID-19 pandemic, and also because the older players on the roster are prevented from playing by an order issued by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, Dec. 3.

“It has been a great effort to get to this point since the reporting in August,” Cox’s statement read. “It has taken a team approach to keep everyone safe while complying with provincial health orders. The Kerry Park Islanders organization takes pride in being a family-first organization. This decision is first and foremost to keep our team and family members safe as COVID-19 cases in the province, and especially on the Island, remain high. Being that we are a team, we also choose to stand in solidarity with our 19- and 20-year-old players, who, under the current orders, are unable to participate as members of our club. These players have committed themselves to the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League and we will continue to do everything within our organization’s ability to develop and promote our student athletes.

“The players, coaching staff and management along with the continued help from our support staff, would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.”

The VIJHL regular season got underway in October. The Isles played 11 games before the shutdown in November, the fewest of the league’s nine clubs, winning five and losing six.

Kevin Rothbauer

About the Author: Kevin Rothbauer

Kevin Rothbauer is the sports reporter for the Cowichan Valley Citizen
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