Local teen takes a stand on restrictions in place for sports

If NHL is a go, why not us?

Sarita Patel

A local teen took took a stand last weekend against restrictions in place for youth indoor and outdoor team sports. 

On Saturday, Cassidy Bank stood outside Costco, Walmart and downtown Kelowna from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. collecting signatures in support of her questioning why NHL players are allowed to play hockey, but she can’t. 
Bank says she doesn’t understand how she can go to school with other hockey players but isn’t allowed to play on the ice with them. 

“I dedicated so much time over the summer and everything for this year and my teammates as well,” says the 14-year-old multi-sport athlete. "I appreciate the NHL so much, I want to watch them. They get to play, it’s fair, but I feel like we should get to play as well.”

While games are cancelled, Bank and her team practices twice-a-week to remain competitive. 

“One day after practice, I was like the NHL gets to play, I want to play so bad and I just kept on telling my dad 'can I, can I, can I,'” she says, about starting the standing petition. 

Once she got the green light, she made the sign in true Canadian fashion by screwing it onto a hockey stick.

The sign read, “please tell me why Sidney Crosby can play and I can’t?” Along with the question, she brought along a blank board for supporters to sign - and hand sanitizer of course. 

She started at Costco, but after a short time, she was asked to leave. The determined teen asked her dad to go to the next biggest store, Walmart. Once she was asked to leave, Bank moved to the downtown core to accomplish the three hours she set out to do. 

A photo taken by a support has gone viral on social media, across the country, which as of Tuesday has over 7,500 likes and over 2,400 retweets on Twitter.

“I honestly didn’t believe it at first, I thought people were messing with me but then I saw it and I was addicted to looking at the photo … I was so excited because that’s all I wanted, I just wanted to get talked about.”

On the day of her protest, she said she received mixed reactions.

“There were a lot of positive responses like I totally agree I’ll sign your sign but some people didn’t agree and they shook their head, but that’s okay.”

The Captain wears number 10 on her sweater, something that is special to her. 

“My cousin Adam, he was a pick-up for the Humboldt Broncos and he was in the crash. Unfortunately he did pass, so, I wear that number like in honour and I put his name on the back of my stick every game,” said Bank. 

Despite not being able to take the ice, Bank is excited for the NHL season to start on Wednesday and even has a bowl of popcorn ready to watch her Ottawa Senators kick-off their season on Friday.

Health rules in B.C. currently ban all group sports for those aged 22 and older. Those under that age are allowed to practice, but games and travelling for sport is not allowed. The restrictions have been put in place to stem the spread of COVID-19.

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