LETTERS: Heavy hearts over ousted club


Re: Club homeless after 40 years at Semi, Oct. 28.


Re: Club homeless after 40 years at Semi, Oct. 28.

It is a long time since a headline grabbed my attention, as was the case last Friday.

In this day of childhood obesity, lack of exercise and physical activity – and research which shows that weight-bearing activities in the teen years can do much to prevent the loss of bone density in later years – we see that 40-plus weightlifters and their coach had been given three days to vacate the Semiahmoo Secondary weightlifting facility, leaving kids “on their own.”

If it were a landlord evicting a tenant, I think the law requires more than three days’ notice, especially if there is at least $35,000 worth of equipment to move without any facility to move it to.

I am not sure if there is any valid underlying reason for the eviction, as the school district spokesman stated that “out of any respect for any third party, we wouldn’t share any explanation.”

Well, out of respect for Dieter Stamm and all his athletes, both present and past, and hopefully future, I sincerely hope that a new facility will be found and that Dieter and his weightlifters will go on to make their marks in the weightlifting world, locally, nationally and, as we read on the PAN front page, internationally.

Chris Johnson, Surrey

• •Dieter Stamm

I read your article about the Semiahmoo Secondary weightlifting club and it breaks my heart to see they did that to Dieter Stamm.

I went to Semi for all five years of schooling and was a weightlifter for the first two years. Because of the club, I made friends easier, stayed healthier and was able to stay out of trouble.

The weightlifting club was one of my only highlights of Semi. I trained beside amazing, hard-working people who inspired me to train harder. Because of this, I was able to win three gold medals myself!

Not only did I see Dieter as my coach, he was also my friend. Six out of the seven days of the week, I would be in the gym. Not only did it help my esteem, but it also helped with my scoliosis, which is a back disease. Everyone in the club made me feel welcome and became a lifelong friend.

I can’t believe the school would do this to Dieter and his students. I hope he will be able to find another place to train and bring hope to other people like me.

This club changed my life in many ways. Thank you.

Samantha Van Ieperen, White Rock



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