Increasing number of papa bears staying in the den
Kwantlen Chronicle

There’s an old stereotype of the family: Mom stays home with the kids while dad goes off to work to support his wife and children.

That stereotype doesn’t necessarily apply anymore. More dads are staying home while moms are the family breadwinners, says Kwantlen sociology instructor Seema Ahluwalia.

Those are fathers like Chad Skelton, reporter for the Vancouver Sun and current stay-at-home father. He’s in the middle of an unpaid leave of absence from his job to stay home with his 18-month-old son.

“I’ve actually enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would,” said Skelton. “I was worried that as the year got closer, that I might find it boring, and there are moments, but I really enjoy it a lot.”

Skelton, 33, has been home with his son since March and although he loves it, his role at home still isn’t understood by some older men.

“People my age are completely fine with it, but people, especially older men, from my parents’ generation, assume that it would be boring to stay home for a year,” he said. “They always ask me what I do with my time.”

His response is that he takes his son out to places in the city such as
the aquarium or the park on nice days. And his son has two naps a day, giving Skelton some time to work on the weekly parenting column that he writes for the Sun or to mark papers from the class he teaches one night a week.

Not all men take to stay-at-home parenting like Skelton does, though.

“I’ve got a friend who works at one of the police departments and under his contract, he can take three months off once he has a kid, but he’s not sure if he’s going to because he might get teased.”

Ahluwalia, who has been teaching for 10 years, finds the worries of a stay-at-home dad not being a “real man” common.

“We hear a lot from stay-at-home dads about the stereotype of not being treated like a real man because they’re not getting a real job,” she said.

“Men still feel that pressure about not being the breadwinner. It’s one of those stereotypes that chips away at their masculinity.”

Ahluwalia said that after 40 years of cultural changes, before which a father as the stay-at-home parent was “utterly inconceivable,” roles have changed into more of a who-can-actually-do-it-right-now style of parenting.

“With the economy becoming more and more expensive over the years, that has forced the ways of parenting to change. Sometimes, the woman has a better job and, for that family, it might be a better solution with the dad staying home,” said Ahluawalia.

Ahluwalia is a working mother and her husband stays at home with their child for most of the day. She and her husband are known as “radical unschoolers,” which means they don’t send their child to public school. They let their son “learn about the world around him in ways that engage him.”

Her husband, a ceremonial leader in his Lakota First Nation, takes their seven-year-old son around to all his lessons, which include piano, horseback riding and art.

“My husband and I see ourselves less as teachers and more like facilitators. Our son wouldn’t be able to have the schooling experience he’s having if my husband didn’t stay at home,” she said.

Statistics show that stay-at-home dads are becoming more common in Canada.
“In 1976, there were 36,000, whereas now, there are 77,000,”said Ahluwalia.

With more women getting into the workforce, she said, it’s not as easy for a man to graduate from school, get the ideal job and live the stereotype.


Islanders 90/91 come third in PoCo
Richmond News

The Richmond Islanders 90/91 B team played their best ball of the season this past weekend and it showed.

The team fought their way through the round robin and five games during the playoffs to earn third place at the Midget B softball provincials in Port Coquitlam.

The Islanders went 3-1 in the round robin and made it to playoffs, which started late on Saturday night.

With the double knockout system, two wins on Saturday night meant an automatic semi-final berth; a loss in either game meant a trip to the loser’s bracket and the need to play three games on Sunday to make it to the final instead of a possible one.

The first playoff game was the Islanders against the always tough Abbotsford Outlaws.

Monika Gorgopa started the game and she didn’t allow any runners to advance past second base until the top of the fifth inning of the game, when Abbotsford scored their only run of the game and got another runner to third, but to no avail.

The Islanders’ bats came alive in the second inning of the game, bringing 11 batters to the plate and scoring six times.

The highlight of the offence was a two-run home run over the left-centre field fence by Megan Sanderson

Richmond tacked on another run in their last at bats to take a 7-1 lead and advanced to the next stage of the playoffs.

The Fleetwood Force ’91 was all that stood in the Islanders’ way to a spot in the semi-final.

Katie Lawrence came in to start the game and the Force ate up whatever she threw, getting 13 hits and scoring eight runs in 4+ innings pitched.

After the thirteenth hit, Lawrence was pulled and Andrea Hoegler came in as relief.

The change of speed proved useful, the Force batters were completely thrown off.

She saw only three batters and got Richmond out of their worst inning of the game.

Richmond’s bats finally caught up to Fleetwood’s quick pitching in the fifth, when they scored two runs, and got three in the seventh on a Kyla McWilliam home run, one of her six over the weekend.

The Islanders lost the game 9-5, which meant a long Sunday of playing, but they didn’t seem phased by it.

Their morning opposition was Strawberry Vale from Victoria, who had also gone 3-1 in the round robin.

Richmond dominated both sides of the game, getting some great defensive plays from all over the field.

The play of the game was a diving catch on a line drive by left fielder, Anna Fenn, for the second out in the seventh inning.

Richmond’s bats stayed consistent, scoring eight runs in the game, thanks to key hits by McWilliam, Jodi Waddington, and Julia Diakow.

The final score was 8-2 Islanders, eliminating Strawberry Vale from the tournament and putting Richmond up against the tough Storm ’92 team.

It was a tight game, the score staying at 0-0 for two and a half innings, until McWilliam came through with another two-run bomb over the right field fence.

The Islanders scored a third run in the inning and that was all the Islanders needed to win.

Bryanna Kochems-Speck threw a great game, allowing only one run to the powerful Storm lineup, then was relieved by Lawrence, who came in to pitch the final inning of the game and struck out the side.

With the 3-1 win, the Islanders had worked their way through the loser’s bracket and now had to face the Force again, who had lost to the ’92 North Langley Lightning that morning.

This game was much closer between the two teams.

The Force struck first in the second inning, scoring one on a sacrifice fly.

Two innings later, the Islanders tied it up in the top of the fourth, only to see the Force retake the lead in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Kaeli Alexander got aboard on a single to left field with one out.

Next up was Carlyn Shimizu, arguably the team’s most consistent hitter, and she didn’t disappoint.

Thanks to her double and some great base-running from Alexander, Richmond tied the game.

But in the bottom of the inning, Fleetwood’s bats could not be silenced.

Their leadoff hitter got on base, then the next two batters hit ground balls that resulted in two outs.

Up stepped the fourth batter and broke Richmond’s hearts with a double to the right-centre field gap, winning the game for the Force and dashing the Islanders’ hopes of getting to the final.

But Richmond was really happy with the third place finish.

After the game, all of Richmond’s coaches were so impressed with the team’s style of play and focus over the weekend.

“We really came together as a team this weekend,” said assistant coach Jack Ursaki to the players after the game.

Head Coach Doug Lawrence was very happy with the result of the weekend; he couldn’t keep a smile off his face.

“I think my favourite part of the weekend was exceeding everyone’s expectations of how we were going to do this weekend and showing everyone our potential,” said Lawrence.

Your third place in the province 90/91 Midget B Richmond Islanders are: Carlyn Shimizu, Julia Diakow, Sharon Sidhu, Andrea Hoegler, Megan Sanderson, Jodi Waddington, Katie Lawrence, Kyla McWilliam, Kaeli Alexander, Bryanna Kochems-Speck, Andie Ursaki, Caitlyn Lee, Monika Gorgopa, Alyssa Koonar and pickups Kelsey Lawrence and Anna Fenn.

Coaches Doug Lawrence, Kevin McWilliam, Jack Ursaki and Wayne Diakow.


Kwantlen soccer field plans in the works
Kwantlen Chronicle

Plans are being drawn up between Kwantlen and the City of Surrey to put a turf soccer field at Newton Athletic Park, down the street from the Surrey campus.

Nothing is official yet, but Gordon Lee, vice-president of finance and administration at Kwantlen, feels that partnering with the city to build the field for Kwantlen’s use would greatly benefit the school.

“We have never put a lot of money into athletics. Over the past 10 years, we’ve created a gym at one campus, and we’ve developed varsity teams in four sports (basketball, soccer, badminton and golf), but again, we have never invested much in facilities,” said Lee.

Lee said that the new field would include a Kwantlen scoreboard, the university’s logo at midfield and seating for 500, but the field wouldn’t be used exclusively by Kwantlen. Since the school is sharing the cost of the field, which Lee estimates to be around $2.5 million, with the city, Surrey soccer teams would be able to use the field. Kwantlen would have priority on which times they get the field.

“The city will go ahead if we don’t partner with them, although we do think it is in the interest of the university to enter into a partnership arrangement with the city to gain access to a field which we can use that would be ours,” Lee said.

For the past five to seven years, Kwantlen has been looking into putting in an athletic field for the school’s use, but there are a couple of challenges that need to be overcome before anything can be put into action.

“There’s not a lot of space and, unfortunately, we need the space right now for parking lots,” said Lee. “The other issue is the cost of putting in a turf field, which is really the only way to go in our climate.”

But now that the field can be built at Newton Athletic Park and with cost-sharing with Surrey, both of those challenges seem to be remedied. All that’s necessary for  field construction to start is a stamp of approval from Kwantlen’s Board of Governors.

Lee said Kwantlen’s share of the field cost will be taken out of university resources; none of the money will come out the students’ pockets.

If everything goes ahead as planned, construction of the field will start early in the new year and it should be ready for the 2010 soccer season.

In the future, Lee said that Kwantlen hopes to expand fitness and sports facilities at all campuses to get everyone involved in either competitive or recreational sports, but the problem is the lack of space.

“The Richmond campus is even more of a problem, because there’s no land space around there at all. We have been talking with the City of Richmond about using the Oval after the Olympics and that’s a big possibility for the indoor sports,” he said.


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