NCAA athletes line up for vaccination as league eyes comeback in Feb.

Arra Perez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 28 2021 07:30 PM | Updated as of Oct 28 2021 10:07 PM

(UPDATED) A hundred student athletes from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) received their first dose of COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine at the Jose Rizal University in Mandaluyong City.

This is part of the Commission on Higher Education's (CHED) ongoing vaccination drive for college students, in a bid to gradually resume physical training and games for student athletes, and physical classes in more schools and degrees.

In attendance were CHED Chairman Popoy De Vera, officials from the DOH, NTF, NCAA, and the Mandaluyong LGU.

Fr. Victor Calvo of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran said they plan to resume face-to-face training for NCAA student athletes in November, while games for NCAA Season 97 are intended to begin in February 2022.

"We should have a basketball game, women's volleyball, and hopefully, we can have cheerleading (competition) or we have the online competitions [that] will push through. We have started it last year. But in a order of priority: basketball men's and women's volleyball, in that order," Calvo said.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Isidro, chief of staff of Mandaluyong Mayor Menchie Abalos, said the city has allocated 40,000 vaccine doses for children aged 12 to 17 yrs old. The city is also ready to inoculate student athletes/college students, as it has vaccinated all of its residents.

JRU volleyball player Kenneth Daynata expressed gratitude and excitement, as he received his first vaccine dose on Thursday.

Daynata is optimistic that they will soon resume physical training, admitting that it is hard to conduct online trainings.

"Sobrang hirap po kasi hindi naman po namin nae-execute iyong mga skills namin, training drills po without the net po. And at the same time po kasi inaatake din po ng katamaran pagdating po sa loob ng bahay. I think this is the time po kasi nalagpasan na namin iyong first step, going to face to face training po," he said.

Last week, CHED began inoculating student athletes at the CHED main office in Quezon City.