Niles begins summer workouts Wednesday

NILES — Niles Athletic Director Jeff Upton has announced that summer workouts will begin for all athletes on Wednesday.

The announcement came after Niles Community Schools put together its plan for restarting sports. A letter was given to parents and athletes detailing the 15-step process for beginning summer workouts. The process was developed through the cooperation of Berrien County state of emergency, Michigan High School Athletic Association and local health officials.

“This is the first phase of our athletic reopening,” Upton said. “We are trying to begin basic conditioning and health lessons which will strengthen our athletes. First of all, I hope you realize that changes are part of our normal lives. While dealing with COVID-19, many changes often occur from both the state and the MHSAA. Please trust that we are closely monitoring these changes and are conducting these sessions with everyone’s best interest in mind.”

Outside conditioning will be at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. All athletes will be subject to a pre-screen health check, including temperature before attending the workouts. Volleyball only will be outside from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Social distancing will be required for all workings. Participants are required to bring their own beverages and hand sanitizer.

Workouts will be hosted on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Athletes are only required to attend one of the two practices each day.

Here are some of the key points:

  • If a child does not feel well, keep them at home, and do not bring them to the outdoor workout.
  • Social distancing must remain in place at all times. On campus, if a student is driving, park in every other space in the parking lot. Social distancing must be in place at all times during workouts.
  • When dropping an athlete off to practice, the driver must wait in the car until the student has passed the pre-workout exam. This will include a temperature check and several questions about having a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, close contact with anyone who has COVID-19, etc. If a child answers yes to any of these questions, or has a fever in excess of 100 degrees, they will be sent home immediately.
  • The school can offer zero beverages, food or shelter for any student attending workouts. These workouts will be 100 percent outside, and athletes must bring their own beverages to consume during breaks. Also, no restrooms will be available due to the state of emergency and school declaration. Bring a beverage marked clearly with the athlete’s name, and no sharing of drinks will be allowed between athletes.
  • Students should arrive 15 minutes prior to the workout and be picked up promptly at the conclusion. Coaches are instructed to end workouts at scheduled times.
  • Due to the state of emergency and limits on the numbers, all parents and guests are asked to leave school property after their child has passed the pre-screening protocol.
  • Student athletes are encouraged to wear masks at all times except during the extreme portions of the workouts. Students may wear a mask at all times if they choose to do so.
  • Students are required to wear a shirt at all times; clothing items may not be removed during workouts.
  • At the conclusion of the workouts, students are encouraged to go home, shower, and change clothes. All clothing worn to the workouts shall be washed before worn again.
  • The school is closed: no restrooms, no water fountains, no locker rooms. Even in bad weather, the school is closed to all students.
  • Physical contact with other students is not allowed: no high fives, no handshakes, fist bumps or hugs are allowed.
  • No spitting allowed.