Nassau County may have canceled sports for the fall season because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the Long Beach school district’s Athletic Department has developed a program that will allow students to take the field, at least for workouts.
The program is open to any Long Beach High School student who wants to join one of the fall sports teams for workouts. The team coaches will run the session from Monday through Friday, from 3:30-5 p.m. for four weeks starting Sept. 29.
“We understand the importance athletics has in the life of our students and are determined to do the best we can to provide positive athletic opportunities,” wrote Arnold Epstein, the district director of health, physical education and athletics, in a letter to families. “The athletic department designed a program that allows any Long Beach High School student to join one of the fall teams to participate.”
To participate in the program, students must sign up on Google classroom by Sept. 25.
The district will provide transportation for students, but officials encourage students to arrange to be picked up by parents to help students maintain Covid-19 regulations. The programs will open to whichever cohort is attending school that day and “all-virtual” students will be required to attend on the blue cohort day.
Attendance for each workout is optional, but school officials urge students to participate frequently to “justify the program.” Participating in the program will not have any effect on making the actual team.
Requirements for the program include having an up to date physical and following state guidelines such as wearing masks during workouts. Coaches will give students masks breaks throughout the workouts. Students will also be given limited access to locker rooms to change after classes are over and outdoor bathrooms will be provided. Epstein said that failure to follow these requirements may result in a student being unable to continue the workouts.
Epstein ended the letter by sympathizing with students and parents.
“One final thought, as the district’s athletic director, I have felt sadness looking at our fields and gyms and seeing none of our kids on them these past few months,” Epstein wrote. “I want to thank the superintendent and school board for supporting this program. On a personal note, it will give me great “joy” to see our facilities full of student-athletes once again.”
Compiled by Darwin Yanes