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Changes to the Athletics Program During COVID

By Wilson ’24

2020 has been a very chaotic year and with everything going on, we slammed the brakes on sports. Everything came to a major stop, like heavy traffic on the 405. But now, we are easing onto the gas again. 

In other words, we are restarting phase 1 of getting sports going again. Most Harvard-Westlake athletes have heard, either by email or a zoom webinar, that the CIF sports schedule got majorly shifted around. Not only did sports switch seasons, but sports that didn’t overlap previously now do and practice dates were moved and rescheduled. Unfortunately for some student athletes, there were consequences.

While the single sport athletes were unaffected by the shifting of seasons, many dual sport athletes were heavily impacted and forced to make a difficult choice. These athletes have been forced to choose one sport over the other because both sports were moved to the same season, whereas previously they could easily participate during two separate seasons. Coming from a freshman athlete who plans on playing soccer and volleyball, I got lucky. Before COVID, soccer was a winter sport and volleyball a spring. But now, they’ve just switched places, and soccer is a spring sport and volleyball a winter. So, I lucked out.

Sports have always played a big part in my life and one of the reasons I love Harvard-Westlake so much is because there are many things available to me. Especially at the Middle School, cuts for sports are very lenient, mostly non-existent. It’s extremely easy to try new sports and find something you love. I will forever be grateful that I am still able to play my sports during these unprecedented times but my heart goes out to those that can’t. For example, athletes who play lacrosse and soccer are being forced to choose between the two. Hopefully, next year the seasons will return to normal again and those unlucky dual sport athletes can play both the sports that they love. I know that while everything seems confusing at the moment, all of this is temporary. 

For many students, being on a team and going to practices became something they looked forward to not only because they had a love for the sport but also because they had a love for their teammates and the community they had created. Now that we are on zoom it is harder to motivate yourself to exercise and take a break for sitting all day on a computer. Going to games and practices was an escape from everything else happening in their lives. Sports allow us to socialize, have fun, and stay fit all at the same time – it’s a triple win. Now, in quarantine especially, it’s crucial to still get outside and stay in shape. Get some fresh air, go for a walk. The silver lining is that this setup isn’t a permanent one. I know that Harvard-Westlake is doing everything they can and taking every precaution to make our return to campus and athletics facilities as safe as they can be.

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Tags: Last modified: September 23, 2021