Decreased Participation in Sports

Decreased Participation in Sports

Madeline Hippeard, Sports Editor

This year, the number of athletes playing sports has greatly decreased. The main cause of this decrease may be COVID-19 safety concerns, but some other reasons may include: travel seasons overlapping with school seasons, VHSL restrictions on training, as well as a limited number of games per season (Mr. Deeds, Athletic Director).

 

Moreover, enjoyment of some sports have gone down within the student body at Hidden Valley, specifically girls basketball. “Lack of success is typically one of the most common reasons athletes choose not to participate” (Mr. Deeds).

 

The current group of girls interested in basketball at Hidden Valley is smaller than usual, with many players not returning from the previous year. Some players have decided to not play because of COVID-19 concerns and others have decided that they need to focus on school, as online learning is much more difficult than regular learning. However, some players might not be returning just because the sport isn’t fun for them anymore. The lack of positive energy surrounding the gym during practice, noticed by not only players, but coaches and the athletic trainer as well, could be a leading cause of why some players do not want to return.

 

Of course, coaches are trying to creat the best environment they can, but they are also worried about the uncertainties of their seasons and what they can and can not do in practice in order to follow the VHSL’s guidelines. Moreover, “coaches are legitimately concerned that their athletes have found other interests, taken part time jobs, and are potentially disinterested in participating because of the numerous unknowns surrounding their season” (Mr. Deeds). However, coaches are doing their absolute best to create a fun and safe practice for athletes, while also trying to renew interest in the sport, and keep current players involved.

 

The uncertainty of COVID-19 creates the question: will we even have a season this year? To put it simply, no one knows. The best thing to do to ensure a season is to follow the CDC’s guidelines on how to remain safe, along with the VHSL’s guidelines for a safe practice. Although the future of high school sports remains uncertain, the only things that athletes and fans can do is have hope, and stay positive during this uncertain time.