While sports are being canceled or postponed in many parts of the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, one HBCU school is moving full steam ahead to bring sports back.
Division II Bluefield State College announced Monday that it will add 12 new sports to its athletics department starting in 2021.
Among the sports returning to the West Virginia college will be football, which hadn’t fielded a program since the 1980s.
“Fielding a football team after such a long absence is a huge step forward,” said Bluefield State College president Robin Capehart in a statement on the school’s website. “To do this now is our way of saying there is life after COVID for this college and our community.”
In addition to football, Bluefield State will compete in the following new sports:
· Women’s soccer
· Women’s golf
· Women’s acrobatics and tumbling
· Women’s swimming
· Women’s bowling
· Women’s indoor track and field
· Women’s outdoor track and field
· Men’s indoor track and field
· Men’s outdoor track and field
· Men’s swimming
“Expanding our athletics program is integral to the goals we set shortly after coming to Bluefield State,” Capehart said. “Our first priority remains attracting more students. As an HBCU, we have an obligation to recruiting more African American students. We have done that.
Capehart added: “Adding these sports will increase opportunities for more students and add a vibrancy that we’ve lacked for too long. It also strengthens our relationships in the community as we partner on the use of various facilities.”