Training is limited at South Pasadena High as the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) continues to put a lid on competitions due to the coronavirus.
“We call it training and conditioning,” explained SPHS Athletic Director Anthony Chan this week, noting that students are working out in pods of 12 as they adhere to strict guidelines and protocols.
Earlier this year, CIF identified two seasons in which sports would be played – Season 1 and Season 2, but an increase in COVID cases, especially with an alarming rise in LA County, has put a stop to all action.
“There were some matches tentatively scheduled this week, but we are not playing them,” explained Chan. “As Season 1 technically has began, we will continue to cancel matches as we are unable to play them.”
South Pasadena High student-athletes began academic finals starting Wednesday with many of SPHS’s athletic programs opting to give their students time away from sports.
Chan expressed the importance of safety first in monitoring workouts, “I want to continue to protect our families by ensuring our training and conditioning follows our safety guidelines,” he said. “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.”
The SPHS athletic director continues to appreciate those involved in sports training on campus “for trusting us in keeping both the student-athletes and their families safe,” noting, “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. District resources and personnel, along with site resources and personnel have made our return to training and conditioning successful.”
Chan stressed he hopes to maintain practice sessions, with required safeguards in place. “Should families feel uncomfortable in having their student-athletes join us, we completely understand,” he said. “As cases continue to grow, I’d like to encourage our community to practice social distancing, wearing a mask, and to be vigilant in protecting yourself and others.”
As of Wednesday, according to Barbara Ferrer — director of Public Health for Los Angeles County — there have been 566,005 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of the county and a total of 8,568 deaths. “For everyone who is now facing a future without a loved one or friend who has passed away from COVID-19, we send you our deepest sympathies and we wish you healing and peace,” she said. “We have the most difficult road in front of us and the virus is rampant in our neighborhoods. Every hour, on average, two of our neighbors, family members and friends are dying from COVID-19. The most important way we get through these hard times is for everyone to stay home as much as possible and only go out for work, exercise or for essential services.”
She’s encouraging everyone to “always wear a face covering and stay at least 6 feet away from people you do not live with. Please cancel holiday plans that involve travel or gathering with friends and family that are not part of your household. Unless we remain more diligent through the holidays – and beyond – we will not be able to stop the surge and provide essential relief to our hospitals and healthcare workers.”