Dear KES Family:
Our new Strategic Plan has three strategic priorities: 1) Balance the Four Pillars, 2) Wellness, and 3) Financial Stability. Some of our work is visible to all (such as boosting the Arts Pillar by adding dance to the curriculum and co-curricular offerings) and some work is yet to be revealed (such as boosting summer revenue with high performance camps in basketball, hockey, dance, soccer, etc). However, I was thrilled to see that one of our wellness initiatives came to light yesterday. Happily, and to considerable excitement, we installed two swing sets! These are not part of a “playground”. Instead, they are positioned in community areas with sunlight and, we hope, contemplative views. Not many high schools have swings but many thanks to 2018 graduate Tessa Firth (whose idea it was) we have our first two!
It was with dismay that we received the news from the governing body of high school sport in Nova Scotia (the NSSAF) that the rugby season was cancelled. It came as a surprise to everyone. In a meeting today with representatives of the NSSAF and representatives from schools with rugby teams, we were told that since 2016 rugby has been on every NSSAF Board agenda. We were informed that there were difficulties communicating with the NSSAF’s School Insurance Program and recent comparative data on injuries suggests that rugby is not a safe sport. The NSSAF Board meets three times a year and in its May 2nd meeting the decision was made to cancel the season. Rugby is no longer an NSSAF sport. We have been told that the NSSAF is hopeful that the governing body for rugby in the province, Rugby Nova Scotia, will pick up the pieces of the season. However, we were also told that there were no prior conversations with Rugby Nova Scotia (or Rugby Canada or other provinces’ governing bodies) or about helping mitigate safety concerns this season. This being the case, there is a bit of a scramble going on to hastily put something together. Not a great scenario. Despite the passionate pleas of hundreds of high school rugby players at a demonstration in Halifax today, and despite a petition with over 10,000 signatures, the NSSAF stands by its decision. Unless Rugby Nova Scotia can mobilize its clubs and insurers to take on the high school program, there will be no more provincial high school rugby this spring.