Schools have begun practicing
The last time the Government Secondary School Sports Association (GSSSA) had a full sports year was in 2018-2019. It is looking to change that this school year as the country continues to get back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the GSSSA’s 2019-2020 sporting events.
It is also celebrating its 30th anniversary as it looks to have a full calendar with their core sports. According to Varel Davis, GSSSA president, most of the schools have already started practicing for the various disciplines especially cross country.
“Most schools have already started practicing from last week,” Davis said. “That shows you how eager we are to get back. The children are out in full force and are preparing for our sports. The children are excited and we have begun practicing like for cross country with the conditioning. We are ready to go and we pray that things continue to work out for us as we go forward in this school and sporting season.
“It is the first time that those student-athletes who were in grade seven and is in grade nine now are now engaging in after-school sports because of the pandemic. We cannot wait to start our first discipline and we are going to have a very successful year. We have some things planned for our 30th anniversary.”
There is no exact date as to when it will get the sports calendar started and which sport will be the first. It is usually volleyball but that decision will come in short order. The core sports for the GSSSA is volleyball, basketball, cross country, track and field, soccer, baseball and softball. The association has already met with the coaches and they are ready to get to work.
“The meeting with the coaches went well. We all are excited to be back to engage in after school sports after not playing high school sports in about two and a half years. We have an exciting year planned. This is our 30th- year anniversary. We are hoping to have our core sports in. We have protocols in place when it comes to playing sports. It will be enforced as safety is first and foremost for our student-athletes, coaches, officials and fans,” Davis stated.
The national high school championship series calendar came out last week. However, Davis said they are likely to participate in the core sports and GSSSA is unsure about tennis and swimming – the new sports that were added to the calendar.
‘‘I am not too sure about the tennis and swimming because that is something that we actually have to be certified in,” Davis said. “We also have to find ways to get our kids to train in those sports. Those sports maybe difficult this year for us coming back after being off for two-plus years as we try and get our core sports up and running. We will look in the near future to participate in those other sports that are on the nationals calendar. There is also only so much sports we can do within a year. Our calendar is very full as it is getting through the other sports.”
The GSSSA was only able to put on its track and field meet last school year. Its 2019-2020 season came to a halt on the heels of getting ready to start the soccer season in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.