Across all middle school grades, after school sports are an essential part of their school experience. However, with the community in the middle of a global pandemic, it has become almost impossible to engage in these activities. Since the beginning of the school year there have been just two updates from school on if and how sports are going to proceed, but given the unpredictability of the virus it is hard to determine if and when sports will return this school year.
Some of the problems with having after school athletics have to do with student contact and the facilities used. For example, school does deep cleaning everyday which starts at 3:30 pm and can go on until 11pm, so it would be practically impossible to have any after school activities at all.
Another example is, that to limit exposure, the school does not want teachers and students to travel home during rush hour, so it is important they leave school as soon as classes end. The Middle School Principal Mr. Pete Lutkoski said that “the health and safety of our students and staff is the most important thing right now so we can keep COVID cases in school low and avoid distance learning.”
However, one main point brought up by both Mr. Lutkoski and the new middle school athletic director Mr Ryan Erickson was that the nature of the COVID-19 restrictions is very unpredictable, so it is hard to dictate when sports would be a possibility. However, Mr Erickson said that there would be a chance school would be able to take full advantage of the spaces ASL by making competitive games possible in the Farmer Gym and the outside areas such a Cannons Park and playground. His main goal is to “get as many school sports running as soon as possible, as long as they can be run safely, and to take full advantage of ASL’s Farmer Gym and outside spaces, keeping in mind that spectators would probably not be in attendance.”
Once the lockdown is over, the British Government will have lift restrictions involving groups of people and organized sporting activities. Overall, since COVID-19 is very unpredictable, it is hard to determine when exactly after school sports will be allowed. However, based on the current pandemic situation, it is important to keep fit and as athletes to engage in sports in new and different ways.