Pubdate: Tue, 12 Nov 2002
Source: Winkler Times (CN MB)
Copyright: 2002 Winkler Times
Author:  Ellie Reimer


Betty Toews and her daughter Ashley are united in their objection to 
athletes being the only ones tested in Garden Valley School Division's 
proposed new policy on random drug testing.

"Often, it's those that are not on sports teams that are doing drugs," says 
Ashley, a Senior 2 student at Garden Valley Collegiate. However, her mother 
agrees in principle with the proposed policy and she would allow her 
daughter to be tested.

"I would want to know if there's a problem we need to be dealing with," she 

Fifteen-year-old Ashley hasn't found a sport yet she doesn't want to try. 
Since September, she has played soccer, volleyball and basketball, and is 
looking forward to trying out for badminton, baseball and track, as well.

And yes, the threat of testing positive for drugs, and the subsequent 
removal from the team, would make her think more than twice about trying them.

"I wouldn't ever want that to come between me and being on a sports team," 
she says. "Sports are very important to me."

Agreed In Principle

Patrick Neufeld, also 15 and in Senior 2, is not into sports. However, he 
and his mother Barb are also agreed in principle.

"I think it's a good idea," said Patrick. "I guess they're trying to clean 
out the drugs in sports, and that's good, but maybe they should be testing 
everybody else, too."

He says the general attitude in school seems to be that the proposed new 
policy is a good idea. However, "some athletes think it's unfair to target 
only the athletes. Not all of them do drugs," he said.

Barb teaches junior high in Winkler Elementary School. And she has one 
major concern.

"I'm just concerned about the kids on the fringe, the ones for whom sports 
is their only positive outlet," she said. "If they get kicked off the team 
for doing drugs, what have they got left? Then we lose our only chance to 
connect with them."

However, she conceded athletes are ambassadors for the school, and as such, 
should set a positive example.
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