Safety for student-athletes


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As sports begin picking up for students in KELOLAND, trainers are making sure student athletes stay safe from both injuries and COVID.

Safety protocols are in place for students and staff in the Sioux Falls School District in an effort to keep everyone safe.

And the classroom isn’t the only place where students are seeing changes.

“We truly believe in the extracurricular opportunities for our kids, here in the Sioux Falls School District and the benefits that those activities have. So with that, in the protocols that we have now is to create an environment for those kids to continue to participate and keeping that environment safe,” Nate Malchow said.

Nate Malchow is the activities director for Washington High School. As the football season ramps up he says protocols including limited capacity in locker rooms, social distancing guidelines, and sanitizing stations can be expected.

“As far as training room protocols, first and foremost, we have required our athletes to have a face mask or have a mask on when they are in the training room, just given the small space that we have here and also, limiting the training room for two athletes at a time,” Boehnke said.

Avera athletic trainer at Washington High School, John Boehnke says athletes will also be answering screening questions each day.

“If a case would happen to arise, then we can go back on our paperwork and see, well, this is the practice plan for this day. This was the lifting group that came in at this time, just to kind of help us with tracking and tracing on our end,” Boehnke said.

One of the biggest changes for athletes will be no shared water source, meaning athletes will be responsible for bringing their own.

Even with all the changes though, students are staying positive.

“It’s just nice being able to see them and have the joy and excitement on their face that shows, you know, how much they missed the sport or the other extracurricular activities that they missed out on,” Boehnke said.

“We’re here to give our kids a safe environment where they can learn in the building, and also extracurricular play a big part of that too, of that learning process outside of school,” Malchow said.

To take a look at the Washington High School football team’s game schedule, click here.

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