The build-up for UAAP Season 84 officially begins on June 1.
And De La Salle University and the rest of the league are optimistic — albeit cautiously — that the league can officially restart early next year.
Besides laying out the groundwork for the multi-sport varsity tournament, the league is prioritizing the education of its student-athletes regarding COVID-19 inoculation.
“The game-changer here is the vaccines.
“I personally have received my two doses. Education with regards to vaccination is one of the focuses of our webinars with our team captains, so that we can encourage our athletes to be vaccinated. It will be the one that will make sure our athletes can compete in Season 84,” said UAAP Season 83 president Emmanuel Calanog during the first episode of UAAP Talk.
The league is pushing for the vaccination of all its student-athletes— an estimated 4,000 participants in all.
Inoculation will also lead to the student-athletes getting to train face-to-face.
League executive director Rebo Saguisag revealed that the Commission on Higher Education already approved the return to training for collegiate sports. Their proposal was also ready for transmission to the Inter-agency Task Force. However, the rise of COVID-19 cases has postponed all plans for training.
With the vaccine rollout, Saguisag, who is also part of the Technical Working Group, looks to amend the protocols and include the return of competition.
“Technically the protocols as discussed at that time were approved at the CHED level already. But the vaccines only came in February. We were discussing with ED to get back to CHED and discuss with them changes to the protocols once the vaccines arrive,” said Calanog.
“At the CHED level, approved na kami. With the rollout of the vaccines, it’s safe to say, I guess dadali. Ang tinitignan namin with the vaccines is not just the return to training, but now the return of competition. With the vaccine rollout, mag-iiba yung premise mo e,” continued Saguisag.
“Of course, nothing has been approved by the IATF but that is the game-changer.”
Saguisag emphasized that any vaccinated individual can still transmit COVID-19. Getting vaccinated, however, will exponentially decrease the spreading of the virus and its effects.
Besides this, the league and its new TV partner Cignal have much in store for the sporting community, beginning Tuesday.
“By June 1, we are starting with Season 84. We will have some surprises, including Cignal TV. All of our fans will be waiting for those surprises,” said Calanog.