By Preston Senst
There is certainly no denying the impact that COVID-19 and its aftershocks have had on all aspects of our lives. As UCC students, trying to learn all of the required academic material while in online or hybrid learning was a challenge, to say the least. In our lives outside of school, we perpetually reminisce on the time not too long ago that eating at our favourite restaurant, catching a flick at the theatre, and attending large-scale events were commonplace. Nowadays, it is still only possible to attend endeavours such as these by abiding by strict protocols—if even possible at all. One of the most significant adjustments that has left a gaping hole in UCC students and students across North America that we are still trying to fill in is the closures or absence of sports and athletic facilities.
We as a school need sports to positively impact mental and physical health, build bonds and friendships, and contribute to necessary teamwork skills students must learn before venturing off into the daunting yet intriguing world of life after UCC. I am proud to announce that we have made some steps in getting school sports back to normal.
For me, I recently participated in varsity volleyball tryouts and am excited to start practicing with the team this week. Volleyball has been great, and I am ecstatic to be back with my teammates. It is still saddening that we have to wear masks in practice and play a shortened schedule. However, I am grateful for the opportunity and cannot wait to compete with the team. Outside of school, I recently played in a basketball event in California which was extremely fun and rewarding. Nevertheless, it was still strange and tiring to be playing in a mask.
As this article comes to an end, I just want to highlight some opportunities for athletes to contribute to the program off the field/court/ice etc. I have recently started a UCC Athletics Instagram account and hope students will submit their sporting highlights there so that other students can witness their incredible talents. Furthermore, we now have an athletic council where student-athletes of all grade levels can provide feedback and analysis regarding the athletic program.