Remaining hopeful that sports on campus will begin in the days ahead, student athletes at South Pasadena High continue to workout on a limited basis with optimism that day will someday come.
“We call it training and conditioning,” said the school’s athletic director, Anthony Chan, explaining that pods of 12 have been set for those involved in an assortment of athletic programs, all adhering to guidelines and protocols established by Los Angeles County and the state in face of the pandemic.
Schools around the nation have created pods for students, forming a safe haven from COVID-19 and allow for sufficient exercise.
Games that were tentatively scheduled as part of the first of two seasons – Fall and spring — have been put on pause as the post Christmas surge in the number of coronavirus cases continue to mount in Los Angeles County, where local health organization reported 318 deaths on Tuesday, which ties the single day record high recorded of last Friday.
“Our student-athletes are heading into finals, which started on Wednesday. Many of our programs have opted to give the students some days off,” said Anthony, when asked about his current frame of mind as school officials confront the virus on a daily basis. “I want to continue to protect our families by ensuring our training and conditioning follows our safety guidelines. In the meantime, my mind moves towards continuing to reopen more sports programs for training and conditioning. Though we might not have matches, these training and conditioning practices have been good for our students in their mental health and wellness.”
His message throughout is one of thanks, both to student-athletes and parents, for putting their trust in maintaining a safe and healthy environment during a difficult time where the feeling of uneasiness and anxiety can be expected.
“Our staff, along with the help of the administration from both the high school and middle school, have continued to find ways to make our programs work,” said Chan. “District resources and personnel, along with site resources and personnel have made our return to training and conditioning successful. We hope to continue to hold these practices, with heavy emphasis on safety. Should families feel uncomfortable in having their student-athletes join us, we completely understand.”
On Wednesday, 11,994 new COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County, adding to the already 944,319 reported as deaths, now at 12,674, continue to increase.
Like so many, Chan is urging community members “to practice social distancing, to wear a mask, and to be vigilant in protecting yourself and others,” he said, especially when there’s a desire to get together, like weekend sporting events.
Picking up on that message is Barbara Ferrer, the director of public health for Los Angeles County, adding: “Please do not underestimate this virus or let your drive to interact in person with friends outweigh following the safety measures that are put in place to save lives. Like many residents, I am cheering for the Rams in the playoffs and grateful to be able to watch basketball games again, but we cannot make the same mistakes we did last year. There were far too many gatherings, viewing parties, and celebrations with others that contributed to increased cases; the outcome will be disastrous to our healthcare system if we don’t follow the rules.”