FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Students gathered on Monday and Tuesday at Anne Roberts Young Elementary for the District A boys and girls volleyball tournaments, and even though spectators were not allowed, the athletes’ games were broadcast on the school Facebook page.

The District A volleyball tournaments were hosted by Anne Roberts Young Elementary, and the girls’ side had 12 teams competing while the boys had 14 teams.

Principal Broyden Bennett says the tournament looked a little different this year due to ongoing public health guidelines, but it may have added some extra special value to the kids.

“We didn’t have a tournament last year, obviously. But we had one the year before, and we were able to get back on track this year,” said Bennett, the elementary sports chair. “It was pretty cool to see a lot of smiling faces. A lot of the Grade fives didn’t get to experience it last year, so for those kids, it’s their first experience.”

Due to the limitations on spectators in the gym, the school set up cameras and live-streamed the games on the school Facebook page.

“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to have spectators, but the community was awesome. They understood that in order to make it happen for the kids, it was just the reality. That’s why we did the live stream so people could watch, and I know it’s not the same as being there live, but we hope to get back to that.”

Bennett says he even heard about students who went home and watched their games with their family members.

In addition to the live streamed games, athletes were able to hang out, watch the action on a big screen, and stay involved in the bubble that was the tournament.

“We had an athletes area this year where kids were able to hang out and watch the games. We had teams watching the games while they ate and waited for their games.”

Bennett says it was impressive to see the development of the players in a short season.

“We’re pretty impressed with the level that comes with a month and a half of playing. The games get pretty good at the tournament, they tend to be a lot closer games, and there is some intensity to it, but it’s also a lot of fun for the kids. There’s a lot of cheering for each other and watching all the teams play. Everybody stuck around right until their last game, they were able to watch and cheer on other schools. It was a really neat community feeling.”

Now that volleyball season has wrapped up, Bennett says the next school sport is basketball, which will start up after Christmas.

Congratulations to all teams that participated.