By Kim Perez
Starting October 20, Granada Hills Charter (GHC) officially allowed student spectators to attend sports events, both indoor and outdoor. Students must follow the same safety rules as they do to attend on-campus school. Beginning November 1, the school also allowed parents with proof of vaccination to attend athletic events.
This news garnered a joyous response as GHC has not allowed an audience at sporting events since pre-COVID. GHC was one of the few schools that had this rule when the 2021-22 school year started.
As exciting as this is to students, players are just as if not more thrilled to be able to play in front of an in-person audience.
“Playing without spectators last season was really disheartening, and I was not looking forward to playing without them again this year. I am really excited to have spectators again because having the support of your family and friends when playing is really encouraging and makes the game more enjoyable,” senior on the softball team Megan Merrifield said.
For many players, without hearing the exuberant cheers from the stands, it can be hard to give 110 percent at every game. Games are often physically exhausting, and knowing you have supporters often gives athletes the strength they need to give it their all.
“I am very excited to have people watch us in the gym because it makes us play better with all the pressure,” senior on the volleyball team Lilly Minton said.
Even though GHC was late to letting spectators in the stands compared to other schools, student athletes and their fans are excited to catch up on their favorite teams.
Players are able to find their energy from the cheers of an audience and students can raise their school spirit as they motivate the team through the crowd.
“I love having spectators because it lets me know I have supporters by my side,” senior on the tennis team Nathaly Morales said.
There was much criticism of the school both from the student and parent population and even the LA Times for not allowing spectators when other schools had made allowances.
GHC stressed the importance of serving students and staff and maintaining as safe an environment as possible, however. The school also livestreamed all games so that friends and family could watch from home.
The school will continue to keep safety a top priority, however, now that spectators will once again be allowed.