UAAP assures safety of training bubbles

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 13 2022 01:23 PM

UAAP assures safety of training bubbles


MANILA, Philippines -- The UAAP stressed that it is strictly adhering to the stringent health and safety protocols set by the government, as it assured the safety of the training bubbles of varsity teams.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) last December had given varsity teams the greenlight to resume training in bubble set-ups. Student-athletes who will participate in the training must be fully vaccinated. 

It marked the first time in almost two years that varsity teams were allowed to train in person, after collegiate sports were halted in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the resumption of training camps faced a hurdle when Metro Manila was placed under Alert Level 3 until at least January 15 after a spike in COVID-19 cases.

"The UAAP adheres to the stringent health and safety protocols set by the government through the guidelines approved by the Commission on Higher Education, Department of Health, and the Inter-Agency Task Force," the UAAP said, through a statement provided by executive director Atty. Rebo Saguisag to ABS-CBN News.

"Under Alert Level 3, face-to-face training under a bubble environment is allowed," it also said.

The league is still working to determine how many varsity teams, if any, have already started their bubble training.

According to IATF guidelines, contact sports are allowed in areas under Alert Level 3, provided they are conducted in a bubble set-up that follows the guidelines of the IATF, the Games and Amusement Board, and Philippine Sports Commission. They must also be approved by the local government unit where the games will be held.

The UAAP is also observing its own internal guidelines, which includes "periodic RT-PCR and rapid antigen testing to maintain the health and safety of the member schools’ respective training bubbles."

"The guidelines set up by CHED are … more stringent than what the IATF is imposing. I would believe it's more stringent than the limited face-to-face classes that the universities are implementing also," Ateneo de Manila University athletic director Em Fernandez noted in a recent episode of "UAAP Talk."

"The UAAP is in solidarity with the government in ensuring the safety of all its athletes and stakeholders during these challenging times as we look forward to the reopening of all its sporting events," the league said.

The UAAP had hoped to start its 84th season by the first quarter of 2022, after cancelling the entirety of Season 83 due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, NCAA teams have stopped face-to-face training sessions, according to Stephen Fernandez of Season 97 host De La Salle-College of St. Benilde.

"Yes, suspended 'yung face to face training since the declaration ng alert level," Fernandez said in a message to ABS-CBN News.

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