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How Athletes in the Community are Being Affected by COVID-19

Co-written with Zoe C. ’23

Due to COVID-19, the spring sports season has had to come to an early end for the Northwest Community. The cancellation of track and field, girls ultimate, and boys’ soccer was very sad for its athletes, because they had started only a week before Northwest switched to remote learning. In particular, this cancellation has been a huge blow for our seniors who would have been playing their last season of high school sports. 

We had the chance to talk with Britt Atack, the head of the sports department at Northwest. He told us how the Northwest spring sports teams are staying connected during remote learning. “Our Upper School ultimate, soccer, and track teams are doing remote workouts and having virtual meetings. Some teams are doing workouts together as well as apart, some are doing workouts from coaches on their own then reporting back to the team, some are having student-led workouts, etc. There are meetings happening to talk about how everyone’s doing. These online get-togethers have also included playing games, discussing strategy and plays, doing yoga, and more.” Britt also talked about how he was happy to see students working to stay connected; “I’m excited that many are stepping up to do what they can to push themselves, make healthy choices in the midst of a confusing and tumultuous situation, and make the experience of this season as positive and meaningful as possible. I’m inspired by the athletes who are working so hard and am so appreciative of the creativity and resourcefulness of our coaches!” 

Britt further described the cancellation of the spring season as devastating. “I know many of our students – especially our seniors! – and coaches are grieving the loss of the season and all the dreams that were associated with it. For our teams and individuals excited beyond belief about their prospects to compete for a league or even state or national championship, it’s painful and difficult to know how hard it’s been for their dreams of ‘This is the year!’ to be dashed. My heart aches in particular for our 31 seniors who have had their culminating high school campaign stripped away: Ibrahim, Sasha, Owen, Puja, Jackson, Adrien, Aki, Jaedyn, Milo, Alec, Graham, Miles, Greta, Jeffrey, Marcel, Seeah, Ava, Melia, Gabe, Kai, Atticus, Keegan, Abbott, Jarod, Ashwin, Lanie, Sarah, Scout, Sy’Naeh, Cees, Cory.” 

High school teams are not the only athletic groups to be cancelled; virtually every professional athletic team and event has been canceled or postponed. Even the 2020 summer Olympics is being postponed. And not only is this difficult for the athletes, but it is also sad for their fans who look forward to watching their games. In these trying times, one of the best ways to decompress is by enjoying a sports game, whether from a stand or from your couch. However, with COVID-19 neither of these scenarios are possible. 

When we interviewed a player, Kristen Mcnab, from the Seattle women’s soccer team, the OL Reign, and asked about her season being postponed, she said how “coming into preseason and being physically and mentally prepared, and then having things be postponed the first week was really tough.” Many athletes are having similar feelings. They were prepared and excited for their season to begin and now they don’t know when they will be able to play again. While this virus is awful in and of itself, we can’t ignore what it has taken from us in things like social distancing and quarantine.  

Arthur Warren, a baseball player for the Seattle Mariners told us “Although sports come second to this pandemic, being an athlete during this stoppage is something new for all of us. Finding ways to stay conditioned and ready to go whenever sports can resume, staying healthy and mentally ready to go are challenging! All we can do during this period of time is do our part to make sure we’re as ready as possible and that’s following the guidelines from the CDC and health officials!”  

This is hard on all of us in different ways, but all we can do to get back to normal soon is stay at home, be socially distant, and continue to stay positive about everything going on. And as well, our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by the spring sports cancelation this year.

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