Athletes speak out against the uncertainty surrounding rec sports and the playing season
Recreational sports at Humboldt State University is made up of 15 competitive and four non-competitive club teams that practice and play in their respective seasons throughout the school year. Each club team offers the opportunity to students of all skill levels to participate and grow their abilities while building community with fellow teammates and recreational sports athletes.
Since spring break of early 2020, HSU officials have not allowed recreational sports teams to gather or practice in order to avoid the possible spread of COVID-19. No update has been given to any rec sports athletes over the past months on when their teams would be allowed to return, practice and compete.
HSU announced that it would be allowing San Jose State University’s football program access to the Redwood Bowl and Student Recreation Center facilities to prepare for their upcoming season.
Rec sports was finally allotted the opportunity to be heard publicly at the Associated Students board meeting on Oct. 9.
Martin Gordillo, a student and member of both the men’s baseball and volleyball teams, led a discussion on who at the university was behind the decision to not allow rec sports to conduct practices.
Gordillo noted the lack of communication from the Cal State University Chancellor’s office regarding the future of rec sports. Gordillo explained the strategies that fellow rec sports clubs are willing to follow in order to uphold CDC safety guidelines. The plan includes reallocating funds from travel budgets in order to pay for increased sanitation supplies and COVID-19 testing for athletes and faculty.
Associated Students member, Collin Waichler, believes an in-depth look at Chancellor Timothy White’s decision would provide clarification to the decisions that lead to the cancellation of rec sports.
“I think it would be very helpful if we can get the text of the Chancellor’s decision to not allow rec sports,” Waichler said. “So we can see that and look at it and figure out exactly what’s going on.”
A representative of the HSU men’s crew team, Michaella Praska, voiced her experience as a rec sports athlete in her senior year not being able to practice and compete with her fellow teammates.
“It’s so disheartening and I’m very, very disappointed in how things are being run and I just wanted to say my team really became my family,” Praska said. “So to not be able to like have that one hour or half hour to be able to spend more time with them. It really hurts. And I don’t feel like I stand alone.”
The future of rec sports continues to be uncertain for the time being, Gordillo ended his presentation by quoting the HSU’s rec sport’s pledge.
“We are Humboldt plus sports and we care for our athletes, one voice in solidarity loud and proud.”