St. Paul’s-Riverside rises to the challenge of sports during a pandemic

St. Paul’s-Riverside rises to the challenge of sports during a pandemic
St. Paul’s-Riverside girls basketball team

St. Paul’s-Riverside faced a challenging school year during the pandemic in providing a safe athletic experience for its students. The school is committed to the importance of physical activity and athletics as part of a balanced education.

“Athletics are an excellent avenue for students to get involved in activities outside of the classroom that promote a healthy lifestyle, provide leadership opportunities and offer students the chance to represent their school,” said Casey Rogers, the school’s sports coordinator and school parent.

According to St. Paul’s-Riverside school principal, Kim Repper, sports can teach students to work together by being team players as well as build friendships across different grade levels.

“Athletics is a good release of energy for our children, especially after being shut down for several months,” Repper said.

In response to a directive from the Diocese of St. Augustine, of which it is a member-school, St. Paul’s complies with strict procedures designed to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes participating in team sports. Safety measures include the use of masks upon exiting the field or court of play; elimination of handshakes before, during, and after games; frequent handwashing; sanitizing of gyms in between use; social distancing when indoors; temperature checks for athletes and spectators; and contact tracing.

“This year, our games looked a little different,” said Repper. “Spectators were limited to only parents and siblings, and all guests were required to wear a mask while indoors.”

“Kids are so resilient. Our children were excited to have the opportunity to play that they did not complain about any restrictions, requests, or rules that were in place due to COVID-19,” she said.

Safety measures were rigorous and followed strictly not only by St. Paul’s but by other participating schools within the diocesan district as well, according to Rogers.

“The strictness of the protocols and watching the athletes, coaches, fans, and staff adhere to them have given me the confidence that my children are in the safest possible environment to enjoy the sports they love,” she said.

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