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High schoolers will be able to run cross-country events at Woodbridge venue

Bill Crothers to field varsity football team in Toronto Catholic league
Sept. 28, 2021
John Cudmore

High school students in York Region are on the run again.

After being frustrated in attempts to acquire user permits for cross-country meets for the past few weeks, approval to use Boyd Conservation Area in Vaughan was received Friday afternoon, according to York Region Athletic Association athletics co-ordinator, Mark Arsenault.

The season was in jeopardy for the popular sport when YRAA officials were unable to a permit for venues in other parts of the region, including Milne Park in Markham.

High school sports in York Region are resuming partially since being shut down due to the pandemic in March 2020.

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority owns and operates the Boyd Conservation Area, a suburban land preserve located in Woodbridge. The park is regular venue for cross-country competitions.

The YRAA received approval for use of the park for two days. At least 1,000 students are expected to compete in the York Regional Invitational meet on Oct. 7 and again at the YRAA championships on Oct. 21.

“We’ll have to spread the kids out around the park,” said Arsenault. “Schools will be assigned locations in the park and won’t be allowed to wander around.”

There is no provincial championship to be held for the 2021 season.

“Getting two races in is pretty good,” said Arsenault. “It’s about half a normal season for some schools. To some schools it is pretty close to a normal season.”

Arsenault also confirmed Bill Crothers Secondary School will operate a varsity football program and compete in the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

Huron Heights Secondary School is also fielding a team to compete in the Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association.

Rugby sevens remains the only outdoor sport to not be approved by the York Region District School Board for play this fall.

Indoor sports such as volleyball and basketball are also unable to play.

Other outdoor sports that are operating include boys soccer, cricket, tennis and golf.

The season is scheduled to start Oct. 27.