An athlete with autism from Ontario is being withheld from participating from the track team during his senior year due to what is being considered “a bizarre bureaucratic ruling.”
Andrew Towle is a 19-year-old senior at Ottawa (Ontario) Technical Learning Centre. While he may have autism, he is known as a big track star at the school. But according to Yahoo, Andrew is not being allowed to participate because he has been at the school for 5 years. While Andrew has spent 5 years in the High School building, he wasn’t taking High School classes the whole time. But according to the rule, he cannot participate because he just spent time in the school. Andrew’s father is not too happy about the whole situation:
“Why be this inflexible and bureaucratic with something that’s so important to these student competitors?” Andrew Towle’s father, Jonathan Towle, told The Globe and Mail. “It’s just very unfair.”
Even though this is going on, one sports official says this situation will give those in power to review the situation and make possible changes to the rules:
OFSAA should determine athlete eligibility on more of a case-by-case basis, according to Jim Denison, director of the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre and a professor of physical education at the University of Alberta.
“They should have some leeway to evaluate cases as opposed to a blanket five-year rule,” he said. “I totally understand why they’re doing it, they’re trying to do their best to … create a fair advantage for everybody, so it’s a difficult situation.”
Read more about Andrew’s situation at Yahoo.com