Vaccines required as sports await return


Courtesy of Chico State Athletics

Chico State passes the baton in a relay race.

On April 12, Chico State announced that it would require student athletes and those living in university housing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This news was quickly followed 10 days later, on April 22, by an announcement from California State University Chancellor Joseph Castro, stating that all students, faculty and staff in any of the 23 CSUs will be required to get the vaccine before returning to campus.

Before the most recent statement, student athletes at Chico State said that they understood why the vaccine would be required. Track & field runner Taylor Lustyan said that because sports are optional to play, it seemed fair to enforce this rule.

“I believe it makes sense because we choose to participate in sports,” Lustyan said. “We choose to meet up together everyday.”

Taylor Lustyan runs in a race for Chico State.
Taylor Lustyan runs in a race for Chico State.

However, the most recent announcement has caused uncertainty among students. Class registration got pushed back about two weeks to May 5 and the fall sports season is still up in the air. Chico track and cross-country athlete Marissa D’Atri discussed her thoughts about her next sports season.

“I’m not really sure how our season is going to look for spring next year,” D’Atri said. “I also do cross-country and I think they’re really unsure what it’s going to look like.”

Although practice is back in-person, the athletes must follow certain guidelines. They must run in “pods” of around 10 people, regularly get tested and screened for COVID-19, wear masks while warming up and cooling down and are limited in the amount of time that they can meet each week. 

Despite all of the uncertainty and new rules, athletes are still excited to get back on the track. D’Atri talked about why she is ready for the season to return.

“I think I’m most looking forward to traveling again,” D’Atri said. “Also, [I’m looking forward to] being on the track and seeing my team.”

Calvin Igbanoi, a member of the Chico State Track & Field high jump team.
Calvin Igbanoi, a member of the Chico State Track & Field high jump team.

Sophomore runner Calvin Igbanoi also agreed that he is ready to get out of the pods and meet with the whole team. 

“I’m looking forward to just being out there with the team,” Igbanoi said. “When we’re out there as a full team it’s just a better environment.”

Chico State sports teams hope to return to their season this fall or spring, but will have to wait and clear any more obstacles in their path. Meanwhile, the athletics department will continue to take steps toward a full return.

Connor McPherson can be reached at [email protected] or @theGOATMcphers1 on Twitter.