By Alana Modi
Being an athlete is hard work, and this year in the midst of a pandemic- it’s even harder. But the dedication and passion put in by our East Greenwich athletes proves just how important it is to continue doing what one loves- even when it gets hard. .The complications brought to sports by Covid-19 have had a large range of effects on the traditional season: masks, social distancing, and lack of spectators all contribute to an experience very unfamiliar to many athletes. Though Covid-19 has made everyday tasks incredibly hard and miserable,the students and athletes of East Greenwich have continued to make the best of this scenario.
A huge impact of Covid-19 on the season is the increased restrictions of get-togethers and gatherings. When one is part of a successful team, they need to spend bonding time off and on the field. Because of the coronavirus, many customary team bonding activities like pasta dinners, secret buddies, and team huddles are unable to happen, greatly decreasing the exciting atmosphere of the athletes. This is sad for all the team members, but especially for our seniors, who won’t ever get to be apart of their highschool sport again. Seniors are truly missing out on so much, but many teams have made an initiative to make senior night as special as possible for the players. Many teams, like the girls Field Hockey team and the girls and boys Cross Country teams held celebrations for their seniors. Field Hockey team decorated the bleachers, front gate, and fences to commemorate the seniors. The night was filled with speeches and gifts and a winning varsity game against La Salle, which made this night even more special. The Cross Country team also honored their seniors in a similar way with posters and notes to make their final season special.
Masks on while playing is a requirement that is harming athletes performances. The feeling of suffocation and dizziness is more prevalent in players than ever. Masks are like barriers for athletes causing them to have one more thing to worry about when performing on the field. It can be hard to play like this but this precaution is of course necessary in making sure that the virus does not spread. We have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to play through these times, and making sure that all players are following these rules is very important. Right now mask wearing during games is one of the biggest rules and if not followed can cause not only you, but also your coach to be kicked out of the game! This is a warning to players that the virus is deadly and can lead to detrimental effects if even one player is ignorant of these rules. Masks have also caused a problem among cross country players. These athletes are not getting the proper hydration during the day because of limited mask breaks during school. Masks might be protecting players from one deadly thing, but dehydration, or lack of oxygen can be just as deadly.
The spirit of game days, races, and matches has gone down drastically because of the limited spectators, and without the support of fellow students and peers, unity among the school and athletes has deteriorated. It is important for others to show support for their favorite teams, and with mandating masks and practicing social distancing, having extra viewers should not be a problem. These are definitely hard times but if we all work together and are there for each other, it will be easier to get through this pandemic. More spectators will also cause players to feel more passionate about what they are doing and make them happier in their endeavors. Many athletes have noted that the more support that is out there, the more lively and enjoyable the games are.
Sports are hard enough, and with extra guidelines it is making sports even more difficult than ever before. After this pandemic athletes will come out stronger and equipped for any challenge to come. It is always important to make sure we are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel and are moving forward, to the light. We all have it in us and athletics will be back to normal before we know it!