Photo Courtesy of Sower Staff
By Hannah Birtell
As students return to campus, student athletes also are preparing to return to the courts, fields and tracks.
The NAIA has put policies in place to help protect athletes, coaches and fans from contracting the novel coronavirus while they compete.
“The NAIA has already put out some requirements that they are putting to work,” said Director of Marketing Seth Meranda. “They are very similar to the things we are putting into place on campus: physical distancing when possible, but also self-screening before any athletic competition.”
Physical distancing is not always possible during many athletic events. As a result, according to Meranda diligent self-screening will be essential to keeping both Concordia athletes as well as visiting teams healthy and safe.
“The NAIA has also changed the athletic calendar a little bit,” Meranda said. “Things are getting pushed back and there will be less games for
all the fall sports.”
Football coach Patrick Daberkow said his team will continue to prepare for the upcoming season, no matter how short of a season it could be.
“All we can do is focus on the things within our control, he said.“We are prepared for a season, but we’re going to focus on only what we can control.”
Spectators also will have to make adaptations in how they watch games, matches and meets.
“The spectator experience will be different for sure,” Meranda said. “One of the requirements by the state is that all event venues that are larger than 500 are required to work with local health departments to get authorization to have an activity.”
Meranda said as part of that process, physical distancing and face coverings will be required throughout spectator participation.
A total of four student athletes who were working out on campus have tested positive for the virus. All four are under self-quarantine and recovering, according to university officials.
More information about the guidelines for athletic events can be found at cune.edu/covid19 under the Athletic Events section.