As the doors of Humber College North campus reopen, athletes, faculty and students who support them are tickled blue and gold that college sports are back in action.
Bryan Lepp, coordinator for sports information and marketing for the Humber Hawks, said all athletes must complete a contact-tracing digital form prior to using college training facilities to ensure safety protocols are followed.
“We’re fully equipped and ready in case anything does happen,” he said. “So if someone tests positive, you know, we will be able to trace it back and anyone who was in close contact.”
Athletes and fans now must be vaccinated before attending games.
“With the return of varsity athletics, we wanted to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, support staff, and fans,” Ray Chateau, director of Athletics and Recreation, said in a media release.
“The vaccination requirement is an important part of that effort, as we strive to get back to delivering an exceptional student-athlete experience,” he said.
As the fall and winter seasons for both men and women sports resume, all teams have been educated on precautions to be followed during practices and games.
“Every team has therapists and coaches, and have all been informed on social distancing whenever possible,” Lepp said. “The good news is because they’re outdoor sports, it’s a little more relaxed and the rules are a little more lenient.
Fans are welcome to come out and support on Hawks teams with their own personal protective equipment.
“I’m honestly, genuinely very excited that we get the opportunity to see them back in action because they’ve been prepping for this longer than we have with their practices in the weight room and things like that,” said Mehuli Baugh, a third-year Humber College student, said.
Baugh cheered and supported the Humber Hawks men’s and women’s rugby teams amid the pandemic.
“My experience there was exhilarating,” Baugh said. “It is absolutely amazing. The rush that you get, the adrenaline that you get when it’s, like, the last four minutes of the game and your team’s leading.
“You know everybody’s just together and screaming,” Baugh said.
Lepp said protocols may change closer to the date in terms of the total capacity of the gym for indoor sports such as volleyball and basketball,
“Obviously, we have to wait and see how is that changing right between now and January,” he said. “It can increase or decrease. There might not even be fans at all.”
Humber is known as having one of the most competitive athletics department and it encourages students to get involved, either as players or supporters before they graduate.
“Just embrace it and do as much as you can with obviously without overwhelming yourself, but get involved,” Lepp said. “I think athletics is the best way to get involved in college because you can be part of a family, not only your team, but the entire athletics department.”