Venice to Hold Voluntary Sports Workouts and Potential Outdoor Competition

Starting this month, LAUSD has begun the process of opening up conditioning for Venice athletes, according to athletics director Alfredo Korzenik.  

“It is voluntary and schools and coaches have the option to participate or not,” said Korzenik. “Those that choose to participate need to fulfill many requirements that the district imposes.”

The ultimate goal of voluntary conditioning is to get athletes back in shape to prepare outdoor interscholastic competition, said LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner in a press release Wednesday. 

If coaches are open to conditioning for their respective teams, requirements that need to be met by student athletes interested in participating include:  

  • up-to-date physicals
  • Venice athletic department meetings with parents and athletes, which will review safety protocols
  • a COVID-19 waiver signed by parents
  • and a compact signed by student athletes.

When all the requirements are met, all the paperwork is reviewed by Korzenik and Principal Gabriel Griego. Afterwards, they turn in a packet for each team that applied to join the conditioning. Each team packet includes all the paperwork submitted by student athletes. Then, the local district reviews the packets and determines when they get approved.

Once the district approves a team to start conditioning, Korzenik said that he will notify that specific team to begin on the date and time that they requested. The teams may not make any changes to their schedules or pod groups, and must adhere to the one hour per day of conditioning. 

All conditioning must be done outdoors and without equipment, which includes weights, balls, and jump ropes. On top of the requirements previously mentioned, students and coaches must test for COVID-19 each week, and nobody who tests positive is allowed to participate. 

Cheerleader Coach Joana Trocan-Garrett seems to be very excited about this opportunity for her team to put in work before potential competitions. 

“I am a little overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork and regulations imposed by the district,” admitted Trocan-Garrett, “but I’ll be able to make it happen because I know how excited my team is to be back.” 

However, it doesn’t look like Volleyball Coach Robin Hunt’s teams will be conditioning or competing anytime soon. 

“We don’t want to start then being required to stop again like previously in November,” said Hunt on why he decided not to allow his teams to participate yet. “Clearly, we still need many answers before we begin the arduous journey toward voluntary workouts.” 

Hunt also mentioned that he’s having a meeting with his teams to discuss plans and decide based on how and when LAUSD will allow outdoor volleyball competition.