LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. -- Students and parents gathered outside the Lethbridge Public School District office to protest the cancellation of school sports this fall.

The group is upset over the school division's decision to halt sports, and other extracurricular activities in response to COVID-19. Students chanted “Let us play” and “we want sports” holding signs up that read “Hinshaw says yes, you say no.”

Parent representative Ryan Thomson said he feels that both students and parents weren’t part of the decision-making process.

“They are not allowing parents or student’s choice or decisions to be able to participate in activities that are facilitated through schools," he said, “though similar activities within our community are functioning according to the guidelines that have been laid out by Alberta Health.”

Thomson said he is unclear as to what a relaunch of activities would entail if the guidelines are already out there. But Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Lethbridge School Division Clark Bosch said although he feels for the students and their reason for protesting, there is still concern.

He said the two positive cases of COVID at Chinook High School resulted in 140 students and 20 per cent of the staff to quarantine.

“Those kids were in four different cohorts, that’s why it was 140 kids.” he added “Let’s just say worst case scenario the volleyball program at the high school, I was principal of had about 60 kids involved. If there was a problem with COVID in a cohort like that, those 60 kids would be spread across the whole school.”

Bosch said he does hope that the students will get some sort of sports season but even then there will be some restrictions implemented. Thomson agreed that it is important for kids to have sports and other extracurricular activities like art, sports, drama and anything else that brings them a sense of excellence.

“It teaches them life skills that they will need throughout their life to be good citizens and contribute to our community.” Thomson said.

Bosch said the Lethbridge School Division will be reviewing the decision again in late October. As for the students, it doesn’t seem like they will stop going up to bat anytime soon.