Membertou arena moves to exclude parents from building during practices, games
MEMBERTOU, N.S. -- Parents were behind the glass watching their kids on the ice in Membertou, N.S., on Wednesday, but soon that will change, and the stands will be empty.
"If we can limit any opportunity for this virus to spread by having less people in the building, then I think it's the right way to go about it," said Paul Carrol, the arena's general manager.
Beginning Monday, parents, guardians and spectators will not be permitted inside the Membertou Sports and Wellness Centre to watch practices or games.
It's a move Sydney Minor Hockey president David Jameal supports.
"We're all about keeping the kids on the ice, and if this is what we have to do, then we fully support keeping the parents out," Jameal said.
Things are a lot different than just a few months ago. There's only a maximum 10 players in each dressing room and physical distancing signs are posted around the arena.
Off-the-ice has been a problem for Carroll and his staff with some people not following the rules.
"I sent about four or five emails to the people who have been renting from us to educate the parents, and overall it's gone very well," Carroll said. "But, with anything, there's always going to be a few bumps in the road and things you have to deal with."
Carroll says there are some exceptions to the rule. Atom-aged kids and under are allowed to have a parent take them to the dressing room, help them get dressed, but as soon as they hit the ice they have to leave the facility.
"For the older kids who can tie their own skates, there is really no need for a parent or guardian to come into the building," said Carroll. "They can drop them off, go get their groceries, and then come back an hour later and pick them up."
A spokesperson with the CBRM says they're also keeping parents out of municipal rinks until Hockey Nova Scotia protocols are reviewed.