After weeks of consultations, the Technical Working Group (TWG) tasked with overseeing collegiate athletes’ potential return to practice, has deemed that the only way this can happen is inside a “bubble.”
“Contact sports and activities for non-professional sports are not allowed at any time, until an effective vaccine and established standard of care is put in place for COVID-19 cases,” emphasized Department of Health head of policy and technology, promotion, and communication, Rodley Carza.
The draft of the guidelines created by the TWG states that student-athletes and coaches must train inside their respective campuses. This is to make sure that student-athletes are “physically separated from the general population.”
In addition, coaches, and everyone else involved in the said training are prohibited from stepping out of the said “bubble” for the remainder of the training period.
The guidelines are also strictly meant for just training as tournaments and actual competitions remain prohibited.
“Non-professional sporting events such as tournaments, competitive events, and athletic meets shall not be permitted,” added Carza.
In addition, these “bubble” training sessions will only be permitted in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
Before any “bubble” training commences, every varsity team is required to submit a Collegiate Training Activities’ Certificate of Compliance that needs to be endorsed by the school’s athletic director and president.
The guidelines also state that the schools must provide for the needs of student-athletes inside the “bubble” including mental health services.
"Once the trainings commence, student-athletes and personnel assisting in the training should be isolated from the general public. HEIs should provide the necessary accomodation, transportation, and provision for mental health services as may be necessary. In case of re-entry for on-campus stay-in training, the 14-day isolation must again be observed before he/she may resume participation. HEIs should ensure that classes of student-athletes should be prioritized in scheduling their training," read the guidelines.
These guidelines are now going to be presented to Commission on Higher Education chairman Popoy De Vera for approval. (JNP)