- January 26, 2022 03:37
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) released its complete crafted guidelines for the resumption of collegiate athletic training in a virtual joint press briefing last Monday, October 26.
Given the guidelines, schools under the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) may possibly conduct athletic training amid coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) subject to the CHED requirements.
CHED Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera, III said that this is not mandatory and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) still have the option to opt-out in training their student-athletes.
Under the guidelines, Department of Health (DOH) representative Rodley Carza discussed that HEIs should strictly observe the universal health and safety measures against COVID-19 with the mandatory wearing of face mask and face shield, including the practice of physical distancing during training.
Before resuming on-site training, CHED requires the HEIs to submit a complete list of the names of their student-athletes, coaches, trainers, and all staff members who will be authorized to enter their athletic facilities.
However, student-athletes below 18 years old are not permitted to join the training and student-athletes aged 18 to 21 years old must secure consent forms from their parents or guardians.
UAAP Chairman Rene Saguisag, Jr. mentioned that schools showed interest in abiding by the given guidelines for collegiate athletic training. However, it would still depend upon the guidelines if the schools are able to do so given that there may be budgetary concerns.
With the provisions provided, physical training is only limited to body conditioning and non-body contact drills, and actual games and live audiences are still not allowed.
HEIs are also advised to prioritize the mandatory 14-day quarantine for its stakeholders, and CHED Chairman De Vera expressed his desire for close monitoring of all the protocols under the released guidelines.
With UAAP ruled out for the rest of this year, Chairman Saguisag looks forward to begin the physical training by January and commence season 83 of the league by April 2021.
“Next step after successful implementation [of physical training] would be opening up sports competitions,” De Vera stated.
The said guidelines will be submitted this week to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for evaluation and approval.
-Aimerose C. Atienza
(Photo screengrab from the virtual press conference)