While the bright lights are mainly focused upon the University of Colorado Boulder’s varsity teams and their response to the current pandemic, another set of athletic teams are finding challenges to their seasons as well. CU’s club sports teams are navigating through these murky times, working to keep teams ready for whatever may lay ahead. This became even more complicated with the Boulder County Public Health order on Thursday that provided a clear cut path for the varsity teams but left its club counterparts out in the cold.
The CU Independent, in an interview conducted over email, spoke with Bryan Hosteler, the senior assistant director within the club sports department of recreation services. Hosteler discussed the challenges facing club sports at CU, the status of practices and the department’s advice to teams going through this strange landscape.
CUI: How has your office been handling this uncertain time?
Hosteler: “Currently we are monitoring the guidelines that are coming from the county and the university. We will then work to develop a recommendation on how we believe sport clubs should move forward and then work with university officials to refine those recommendations. While practices are not in-person we did help teams get set up with virtual practices. We have also been trying to make sure our teams know there are resources for them on campus if anyone on the team is going through a difficult time.”
CUI: When do the teams expect to be playing real games again?
Hosteler: “Unfortunately, we are unsure at this point.”
CUI: When do they expect to be allowed to practice?
Hosteler: “Teams were practicing in-person, following specific guidelines, until the county health order was put into place. We are hoping to get teams back to in-person practices as soon as the new county health order allows for it based on the metrics outlined in the order.”
CUI: Are they doing smaller group workouts until further notice?
Hosteler: “Yes, we will be limiting the size of practices which will vary by space.”
CUI: Do some sports present unique challenges compared to others?
Hosteler: “We have and will require all teams to practice social distancing and mask-wearing at practices. This is obviously more difficult for some teams that require them to be closer together. However, those teams will be practicing individual drills or be doing some type of conditioning.”
CUI: Do spring club sports expect to start on time?
Hosteler: “That is still up in the air and we are not sure at this time. This will depend on local and campus conditions related to COVID-19 as we get closer to those spring seasons.”
CUI: Will fall sports play their seasons in the next semester? Could some be canceled altogether?
Hosteler: “That decision will mainly depend on the leagues or conferences. Some leagues are hoping to move their season to the spring but there are no solid plans.”
CUI: Have you been talking to the different club sports leagues and coordinating your efforts within conferences?
Hosteler: “Yes, we have been in contact with most if not all of our leagues and/or conferences. We have also been in contact with other schools in Colorado and Wyoming to see how they are progressing as well. For the most part everyone is in the same boat with limited practices and no competition or travel for the fall semester.”
CUI: What advice has your office been giving the teams?
Hosteler: “We have encouraged our teams to continue to offer some type of club activity even if it is virtual this fall. We believe it is important for students to continue to find community with their team especially during these challenging times. We have asked teams to remain flexible as things seem to change rapidly. We also made sure that teams are aware of the campus resources that are available to all students that may be having a difficult time.”
We thank Hosteler for his time and for his willingness to share with us during what is an extremely difficult time.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Thomas Gahan at firstname.lastname@example.org.