We know many Guam teens are athletes and were looking forward to volleyball, track and field, paddling and many other sports.
We reached out to Al Garrido, who leads the Guam Department of Education Interscholastic School Athletics program. Garrido is also a veteran coach, having coached students of all ages in volleyball and basketball. We sent him some questions about fourth quarter sports and what students can do while many parts of the island are shut down to protect us all from COVID-19.
As an update, on Tuesday, March 24, the governor signed an executive order that extends the shutdown to April 13.
Question: Are fourth quarter sports canceled for the rest of the school year for ISA and the Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam?
Answer: The board for the Interscholastic Sports Association is currently following the direction of the governor and (Department of Public Health and Social Services). We do not have school in session, so we won't have any sports until then. If school gets closed through to the summer, then we will follow suit. I am not certain what IIAAG will do for fourth quarter sports.
Q: Do you think it’s possible for this school year’s sports to resume?
A: That possibility lies with the direction we are given by the governor and Public Health. If we get back to school, we will see if there are options to continue ISA sports.
Q: How should student-athletes manage their physical fitness in light of being unable to attend practices?
A: Because there are so many restrictions, I would advise student-athletes to focus on their present health. There are a multitude of at-home physical exercise regimens online that they can do to maintain a level of fitness. To be more specific, student-athletes should always start with a 5- to 10-minute warmup, 15- to 30-minute workout, 5- to 10-minute cooldown. This should be modified to each individual. I would not advise doing anything more than that at this point.
Q: How do you think the current effects of COVID-19 on sports could influence school athletics in the future?
A: I think that this whole situation puts into light a few things we should consider, such as a league. This includes emergency schedules during certain situations, our roles as administrators and coaches, and even our athletes who are role models and how we follow the guidelines to keep everyone safe.