HEALTH & SAFETY
Our Top Priority.
The health, safety, and well-being of all participating students, families, coaches, and staff on all Beyond Sports programs is a top priority for the organization on every level. Beyond Sports is committed to providing clear and comprehensive risk management support, infrastructure, policies, and procedures regarding all health and safety matters for any program participant, whether traveling individually or as part of a collective group.
We ensure a proactive approach to the safety and security of all participants during the pre-departure, on-site experience, and re-entry phases of each program:
Program Staff & On-Site Support
All program staff are trained to provide effective and rapid responses in any emergency situation that could arise in Costa Rica. Our four areas of staff training include health & safety, water safety, mental & emotional health, and sexual harassment prevention. We maintain a 6:1 student-staff ratio through the GLASS program. Our local staff have emergency cell phones with them at all times, and our U.S. staff monitors a 24/7 phone line. Our staff also speak Spanish and are very comfortable navigating the Playa Flamingo and Guanacaste region of Costa Rica as they are full-time residents.
Beyond Sports has a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year emergency phone line for students, parents and families, coaches, and administrators. Emergency phone number: 1-347-746-3814
Prior to departure, GLASS participants will be given a program guide with emergency contact information including local hospital information.
All local staff are required to complete emergency response preparedness training programs which include visits to the hospitals and health clinics in the area.
International Health Insurance
Beyond Sports provides extensive blanket international health insurance coverages to all individual program participants through our partnership with GeoBlue Travel Insurance: https://www.geobluetravelinsurance.com. Students are automatically enrolled in this insurance plan unless they indicate that they will be utilizing pre-existing coverage. Sports-related injuries are also covered through GeoBlue Insurance.
Our staff thoroughly prepares our students for the international travel component of GLASS. Prior to departure, each student will receive:
A detailed pre-departure guide that includes a full explanation of travel day logistics
A GLASS swag pack, which includes a t-shirt to be worn on travel day
Access to a private group message where they can quickly communicate with their GLASSmates and Mentors
Direct contact information for the program director and our international travel coordinator
GLASS is a first-time international experience for many of our students. Ensuring that all students are ready for travel is a high priority. Our staff is readily available to speak with students and families prior to their GLASS session to answer any international travel questions.
Upon arrival, all GLASS students will participate in a program orientation. Our orientation covers expectations, health & safety protocols, and our Student Code of Conduct. All students will be required to sign our Student Code of Conduct when registering for a GLASS program. This document is in place to ensure the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and community members.
COVID-19 Pandemic Consideration
Due to local mandates in Spain, the COVID-19 vaccine is a requirement for our Spain program. The COVID-19 vaccine is not currently required for our Costa Rica programs––that is subject to change based on local mandates in Costa Rica.
We want to take this opportunity to share our broader thinking as well as some of the specific criteria we used in deciding to offer this program. Student health & safety is and always will be our top priority as an organization.
We are a mission-driven organization that believes international travel and experiencing different cultures is an important ingredient to a fulfilling life, both for what it teaches us about other people and places, and how it helps us appreciate what we have in the United States. We also believe that high school age is a unique developmental period where many 'once-in-a-lifetime' opportunities are more available and accessible than in other stages in life.
We know that there is a diverse spectrum of risk tolerance and beliefs about what safety measures are reasonable during the pandemic for both healthy high school-aged students in particular, and also, how that demographic's choices might impact members of our communities who are more vulnerable to the virus. We don't expect everyone will agree with our assessments 100%, however, we hope that by detailing our thinking, students and their parents will be able to make their own informed decisions while understanding what expectations we will have for students in Costa Rica or Spain.
We have been tracking the Covid-19 pandemic closely since January 2020 when evidence of community spread outside of China first emerged. Over that time, we have done our best to filter through overwhelming amounts of information while remaining skeptical of advice that might be politically or financially motivated. We prefer data-backed and scientifically verifiable information while trying to appropriately weigh new information that might not yet hold a scientific consensus.
As has always been the case in our risk assessment and analysis, we recognize that truly 100% guaranteed safety is impossible in our world. Instead, we must assess risks to student safety relative to a realistic alternative.