Bad Air Quality Affecting Fresno City College’s Sports

Smoke caused by the Windy Fire and KNP Complex Fires in Tulare County have affected Fresno City College and its outside sports. 

Assistant Athletic Director Rhonda Williams said the athletic department pays attention to the Air Quality Index, which is a scale of whether it’s safe to be outside.  

According to Williams, when the AQI is over 150, the FCC athletic department cancels outdoor activities and teams practice inside.  

Due to the air quality, some home and away games were canceled.

Women’s Soccer Coach Oliver Germond said it feels like one thing after another. Teams came into the season dealing with COVID-19, vaccinations and now smoke. 

“It’s ironic how with COVID-19, everyone wants to be outside but then the smoke makes everyone want to go inside,” he said. 

According to Germond, the smoke has interrupted some of the team’s training sessions.  Their first scrimmage of the year against Fresno Pacific University was shut down halfway through the game.

He explained that scrimmages are important to the team because it’s a way to see how the players play. With those getting cut short, some players didn’t get to play, which he said was frustrating.

Some of the practices have been canceled as well.  

When air quality is bad, the team goes into the practice gym and plays a game called futsal, does weight training or yoga. 

Germond said playing in the gym is good but hopes it’s not a recurring thing throughout the season. 

Jasmine Guardado, starting defender for the women’s soccer team said the bad air quality is a concern because she and some of her teammates are asthmatic. 

She’s concerned that the bad air will cause wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and could lead to long term health problems.  

Guardado also said that some of her teammates without asthma were still having the same symptoms as well.  

She is thankful that Germond lets the team practice in the gym for their safety. 

“Even with the bad air quality, it doesn’t stop us from training hard. We continue to work hard as a team, every day,” she said.