AIA Shuts Down Winter Sports for Student

AIA Shuts Down Winter Sports for Student

Connie Escobar

On Friday, Jan. 8 students all across Arizona heard the news that they have been trying to avoid for quite some time. Winter sports have been canceled because of the surge of COVID-19 cases. Not only has this decision led to many sports seasons being stolen from students’ grasps, but it has also led to many strong opinions from the student body itself. Many coming from fellow student athletes. 

Firstly, as a student athlete and senior I could not imagine my season being stolen from me, especially during my senior year.  During these tough times it is easy to say COVID-19 has taken over too much of the students’ lives, and for their seasons to be taken away from them by the very thing that changed them is very infuriating. I feel as if the cancellation of winter sports was unnecessary due to the idea that the AIA could have set restrictions, such as no spectators allowed besides college recruiters and coaches. As well as masks must be worn at all times, even if that means athletes must wear them while playing. Cancelling winter sports could affect the lives of student athletes that plan on playing in college with the hopes of being recruited. There are many aspects that I feel were not taken into consideration with this decision, especially many aspects that have to do with the students themselves. Making it very understandable that the student body would without a doubt be upset by this decision, especially when other sports have had their seasons. 

In fact, fellow student athlete Michael Prater who is a soccer player at Hamilton High stated “I think it’s really unfair because the AIA could have set restrictions. Because for football they had fans who went to the games under the restrictions. But the AIA didn’t cancel football’s season or fall sports at all”. Michael expressed his frustration on how the cancellation of his season was unfair and should be reconsidered. 

There are also other students who think it should be their choice whether or not they should continue their season. Student athlete and wrestler at Hamilton, Jackson Gaither made his opinion known when I asked him about his thoughts on the cancellation of winter sports. He stated that “If we’re willing to participate we should be allowed to continue our season.” Sharing his idea that the cancellation of winter sports should be up to the athletes and not up to the AIA executive board.

Besides the strong opinions of many students, there are also those who understand the decision but are also very upset about it. Michael Chen who is a member of multiple clubs and an AIA varsity team stated “I understand the disappointment that many athletes may feel after this decision, but I am also very much aware that the AIA acted with an emphasis on student safety. Furthermore, I would like to offer one piece of advice to my fellow AIA competitors: if you wish to appeal this decision, support your argument with your actions. If we cannot show the AIA that we can and will be safe in sports, then your arguments will fall on deaf ears.” Michaels parting words show emphasis on how he feels his fellow student athletes should go about this situation. Due to the fact that many student athletes plan on fighting for their decision and plan on making their voices heard. Overall, I feel as if the decision made by the AIA could have taken the opinions of students into consideration, as student athletes across the state continue to feel distressed.