Jason Soul / Staff reporter

It is not an exaggeration to say that the physical education department at Gleneagle is the most affected department by COVID-19. It is hard to hold athletic activities while following the B.C health guidelines. The physical education department looks different due to safe social distancing rules. Students in physical education have mixed feelings on how the course will look after the changes and modifications.  

Because students in the P.E. course must be safely distanced, they cannot play sports like rugby and wrestling since it requires a lot of physical interactions. Instead, they play dodgeball a lot of times because it is fun and engaging, but also a safely distanced activity. Additionally, students cannot change in the changing rooms anymore and must come to school prepared for class in their activewear and appropriate footwear. However, some students who were expecting something more exciting are disappointed with the changes. 

“I joined this course because I thought it would have a lot of field trips such as laser tag and golfing,” said Matt Lee, grade 11 active living class student. “But because of COVID-19, it all got cancelled and I am slightly disappointed.” 

Although there are many restrictions and limits to the activities that can be performed in P.E. classes, some exercises can be done to keep students healthy shapes in a safe way. Students can run around the school in a socially distanced way. Also, when equipment such as dodgeballs are required for a game, the used equipment is sanitized so that it stays clean and germ-free.   

“It is less fun than previous years without COVID-19,” said Daniel Kim, grade 11 active living student. “However, I think the changes were necessary to have safe classes and I am impressed with how Gleneagle is trying to keep us entertained in a safe way.”

However, students are not the only ones who are affected by the changes in the physical course. Teachers and staff of the physical education department are also facing everyday struggles from the changes and they make an effort to be vigilant with COVID-19 protocols and maintain continuity for the programs. Although it is hard to assess progress in remote learning situations, the teachers and staff of the P.E. department are doing their best to help students develop skills and improve by working with students one-on-one.

“Being able to assess progress in remote learning situations has presented challenges because we are not with our students every day to assess their learning and help with constructive feedback to see improvement,” said Cam Comeau, physical education staff. “However, our classes and students have been amazing to this point with their flexibility and working with each other to make it a positive learning environment.”