Let Spectators Back Into the Rinks

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Dear parents, guardians and grand-parents,

Please sign this petition to help us in requesting that the City of Timmins revisit and reverse their no spectator guidelines in municipally owned arenas. Since the return to play, parents are allowed only 5 minutes before the start of their child’s practice or game and must exit the arena as soon as their child sets skates on the ice. The doors are monitored by rink attendants and parents are kept in the parking lot. This guideline only applies for the Timmins municipally owned facilities. The Carlo Cattarello Arena known as “The Barn” has a strict guideline that  allows one parent or guardian to enter the arena and stand in specific areas physically distanced wearing their face covering.  

The city has not communicated with parents or associations as to when parents will be allowed back in or why they insist on these measures. Parents want consistency and continuity within the region and province. Like The Barn, other municipalities within the Porcupine Health Unit allow one parent or guardian to enter their arenas. Hearst, Kapuskasing, Iroquois Falls and Cochrane are just a few examples of facilities who allow parents to spectate. Most arenas in Ontario also allow one parent or guardian per child. 

Why is this important? Children as young as 3 and 4 years old are lacing up for the very first time and expected to stay on the ice for one hour without the encouraging smiles and nods from their parents by the glass. Kids, no matter how old, want their parents to watch. They want their support; they want their encouragement and they want to share their proud moments with their parents. 

Also important is player safety. To ensure player safety, associations require strict volunteer screening and try to keep kids safe but with 25 kids on the ice, there aren’t always enough eyes to see everything. Every year, there have been instances of bullying, injury or unsafe events that parents have helped bring to the attention of the coaching staff. Can the City of Timmins guarantee that this will not happen within their facilities during the 2020-2021 season? 

In signing this petition, we ask the City of Timmins to change their guidelines and to allow one parent or guardian to spectate. We have a long winter ahead of us with limited activities, gatherings and outings. While hockey, ringette and figure skating provide physical activity for our kids, it also provides spectators with something to do that can help with mental well-being.

Thank you on behalf of parents, guardians, grandparents, players, and player sponsors.