College training in a “bubble” is still not the best hope

Covid-19 sparks a dramatic change in our lifestyle as we scaled back to our usual routines due to the dangers brought by the pandemic. Through this, college athletes have experienced an ordeal as they break-off from their tournaments, training, and leagues.

/ 22 September 2020

Physical distancing, athletes were sent home, schools isolated for now and with the country’s concurrent situation, it is a challenge for student-athletes to get back to training.

Some of the sports institutions and leagues are still in its initial phase of re-opening with the urge to conduct a bubble type concept. Albeit with the positive idea of bubble training, it still doesn’t commensurate the instability it will give to the athletes once one has been infected by the virus.  

Unlike the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) plans on bubble training, college-leagues and athletes should not be allowed to do the same. Allowing to train in a sanitized close-circuit area doesn’t mean it will minimize the possibilities of the COVID-19 contact transmission.

Also, conducting training now is much more financially expensive than before. Therefore, the financial burden it might bring will not make bubble training for college athletes feasible.

Having sports hiatus, classes shifting online, most student-athletes surge fears as it affects them physically and mentally. Being in lockdown for months, these athletes surmount their own individual training inside their houses to help their bodies stay fit. But these training sessions, however, are not enough in honing one’s game strategies alone.  

Still disregarding the latter, I urge to believe that bubble training is difficult to grasp, thus it is not for everyone. For other countries, bubbles are one of the safest ways to conduct training and leagues. Whoever, in our country where COVID-19 cases are still unmanageable conducting this kind of training only contributes to tremendous risk on the sports community.

The situation only brings us to a question: What does weight more, health safety of the athletes, or the medal and honor it will bring as a fruit of the continuing training?

Yes, the bubble works. But at what measures can a school continue to support the athlete once the bubble begins to burst. And before you know it everything is uncontrollable. And with this, it is better to be safe than be sorry.

The derail in the college sports society is still a concern for athletes towards the uncertainty of impending league season. Instead of focusing on the training and leagues, we need to question priorities. Is it now the time to compromise one’s safety to bring a team credibility? And with everything possible, the security of student-athletes, coaches, and staff are being cautioned to ensure that health and wellness are prioritized.