By: Carly DeLuca
Sports have been a contentious topic for this year, as COVID cases continue to rise, even among Perkiomen Valley students and staff. The fight over proper precautions and possibility of safe play has been renewed from the fall season, as winter sports are gearing up to start.
Winter sports should not be on for the 2020-2021 season, since it may be impossible to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during some of these sports. With the close contact that is needed to be able to play a sport, there is no possibility of being able to stay six-feet apart from fellow players.
The PIAA has labeled each sport as high risk, moderate risk, or low risk for spreading COVID-19, with cheerleading and wrestling classified as high risk, basketball as moderate risk, and swimming/diving and track and field as low risk. If PV sports teams want to be successful, the only way to do so would be to risk the health of those playing.
“My concern is not necessarily specific to sports but an overall concern that we each do our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Robert Felty, Perkiomen Valley High School’s athletic director, said. Slowing the spread of this virus is a team effort that some may not want to contribute to. Sports advocates argue that being in school sports will benefit students physically, socially, and emotionally, however, there are other ways for students to safely be together without risking the health of the community. For example, socially-distanced outdoor workouts allow for students to see each other while being physically active in a safe manner.
The primary focus should be on academics and getting students back into the classroom. There is a lot of debate about whether schools should open, and continuing on with school sports not only adds to that anxiety but puts the students who are not playing sports at risk as well. “The obvious con is the inability to social distance at all times,” said Felty. Going to school with students who are not able to follow the health mandates is a risk that many aren’t willing to take, and the goal is to get students back in the classroom as soon as possible. The protocols that are set to be put in place are not suitable to stop the spread of COVID-19. Recent data suggests virus particles may travel through the air up to 27 feet, far beyond the six-foot recommendation for social distancing. If the community wants to return to any sort of normalcy soon, starting school sports this season will make us only go backward.
By: Camerynn Roop
As winter sports are on the horizon, the escalation of COVID-19 puts winter sports for the high school at risk for cancellation.
Whether winter sports will happen or not is argued among the PV community. For the sake of a student athlete’s mental health it is crucial the winter sports season occurs.
Safety is the first priority for COVID-19, the high school should not jeopardize the health of students and coaches for the winter season. ¨Being around large groups of people increases the likelihood of spreading the virus¨ Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas said. The social interaction of winter sports could potentially spread of COVID-19 which threatens lives.
Safety precautions are implemented in PV, the athletes and coaches are obligated to wear a mask, sanitize, and enforce the student-athletes to limit their socialization with large groups. Protection for the students and faculty of athletics is necessary. These measures ensure the safety of student-athletes and coaches’ health. In confidence that the students and coaches are accountable for their actions, by following the rules, Perkiomen Valley will be able to continue with the winter season securely.
¨Students and coaches can diligently follow the safety precautions regarding COVID-19. The key is to make sure we are all aware of the policies and are committed to implementing those policies¨ said Mr.Felty, the athletic director of Perkiomen Valley.
The emotional effects that COVID-19 has inflicted on the human population has been detrimental to students’ mental health. Sports helps mental health as it is a helpful release, without the presence of winter sports, it has troubled student-athletes, as their passion is a large contributor for their happiness. This pandemic is full of isolation and sadness, and has worsened the mental health of the population, it is imperative for the high school to assist in safely improving students’ mental health.
¨It gives the students an outlet for stress and it is a great social environment for students to connect with each other¨ said Coach Hodgins, coach of the winter track team.
Perkiomen Valley has the resources to safely conduct the winter sports season, therefore, the district should follow through. With conscientious students and coaches, PV can be safe of coronavirus as all participants will be wearing masks, sanitizing appropriately, and social distancing from large groups. Winter sports happening will positively impact student-athletes’ mental health as it allows them to pursue their passions and release the negativity that has been bound to them for several months due to COVID-19. Winter sports are able to be executed safely in PV and they majorly benefit the students. Winter sports season for the go!
Photo Credit: coalregionalcanary.com