Congratulations to the 2021 Texas Regional Games team for organizing a successful competition for more than 200 athletes April 15-18 in San Antonio Texas! It’s exciting to see events like Texas Regionals come back online and host so many athletes in-person – a hopeful sign that the sport world is getting back on track.
Wendy Gumbert, one of the Texas Regional Games organizers, said successfully running the event was a matter of doing the proper due diligence well in advance. Here are some of the Games’ key planning strategies:
- Having a detailed COVID plan and protocols in place as event registration opened.
- Communicating regularly with event participants with reminders related to these COVID protocols.
- Having an overall event and sport-specific COVID plan focused on cleaning and sanitizing (e.g. wiping down shotputs, discus, air guns, bows and boccia balls).
- Utilizing subject matter experts such as public health professionals and physicians.
Wendy noted that they continued to monitor the state’s COVID guidelines along with those of the local venues and sport facilities. Throughout the planning process, some of these guidelines changed. With COVID guidelines changing regularly, it’s important to keep up-to-date on the latest mandates related to masks, temperature checks, social distancing, etc.
Wendy also mentioned that one thing to anticipate when planning a competition is some hesitancy from the community of volunteers. This time around, volunteer recruitment proved to be a little more difficult as some people just may not be ready to be involved in a larger event.
The most encouraging thing to note was all the positive feedback Texas Regionals’ organizers received, including countless thank yous from athletes, coaches, and families expressing how great it is to be back.
Let’s hope this is one of many in-person events to come back this spring and summer! Please keep us posted on success stories and lessons learned as your events return.
Examples of COVID event protocols:
Endeavor Games (UCO)