Sports and Extracurricular Update


Sammy Rosin, Currents Associate Editor

Sports and extracurriculars are integral to the Radnor schools and community, which is why many students are relieved that the summer pre-season and fall activities will continue. In an 8-1 vote on August 25th, the RTSD school board decided that fall sports and extracurriculars can continue to have optional practices outdoors. This decision applies to all sports and activities that are able to be practiced outside, including cross country, field hockey, girls tennis, soccer, color guard, band, and others. 

 On June 10th, the Chester County Health department banned sports competitions until the green phase, but voluntary practices continued as they did not fall under the same restriction. Originally, the Health and Safety plan from the August 6th board meeting mandated a two-week break for sports practices and activities beginning on August 25th. However, this decision was made before school transitioned to Phase 3. After 3 weeks of voluntary practices, the board members and administration expressed how the students at Radnor High School have been diligent with safety measures and recognized the essential need for students to exercise and be with their peers. 

With these considerations, the board proposed on August 25th that all voluntary practice can continue, as long as they are held outdoors. Mr. Batchelor sent out an update on August 28th explaining that although no completion is permitted at the moment, the Central league and Radnor are working to convince the PIAA to hold some format of competition after January 1st. Under this plan, both fall and winter sports would be allowed to compete against other schools. 

For now, The Chester County Health Department considers practices outside, with all participants wearing masks and social distancing to be low-risk situations. These guidelines prompted the majority of school board members to support the continuation of sports with the additional guideline that all voluntary practices are held outside (which was not previously required in the RTSD health and safety plan). With Radnor’s current case count, The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania  Policy Lab also concluded that having outdoor activity under these circumstances is safe. 

With the plan to continue to hold all voluntary practices, Volleyball and Basketball, the two indoor sports currently practicing, face a unique challenge.  The board members understand how critical exercise and sports are for all students’  “mental, social, and emotional well being [and] their physical health,” as school board member Jeff Jubelirer explained, but their ultimate priority is still to have students return to the classroom in person. Although teams practicing indoor were following the safety guidelines, the majority of the school board believed that the best decision would be to keep all practices outdoors since teachers, and soon students, are coming into the building. An option for the sports that generally practice indoors is for them to find suitable outdoor practice locations owned by the township. 

Coaches and students have both worked hard to continue sports and band practices. The coaches are not required to hold practices, but many still bring their teams together to allow Radnor students to continue to train and spend time with their teammates. The students were also commended many times for their commitment to wearing masks and following safety precautions, which certainly helped their case. As of now, the school board’s health and safety plan will allow practices to continue until September 22nd  as a “ supervised and safe opportunity to exercise,” according to school board Vice President Amy Goldman. School Board members added that the decision was guided by relevant metrics and will be reassessed in the upcoming weeks, but if students continue following the guidelines and keep case counts low, practices and activities will not be stopped.