Students return to out of school sports

Athletes are finding their way back to training with their out of school sports as Covid restrictions are lowered.

Emily Hu

Athletes are finding their way back to training with their out of school sports as Covid restrictions are lowered.

Emily Hu

On March 13, 2020 Clague students were sent home, gyms were shut down, training stopped and exercising times decreased. 

Seventh-grader Jane Hu was one of the students who was affected.

“Coronavirus was getting too big,” Hu said. “COVID affected too many people and everyone was getting infected so they had to close the gym. It was sad at first because I really wanted to go swimming, but then I was okay with it because I wouldn’t have to do difficult workouts every day,”

Hu is a member of the Club Wolverine swimming team.

During this year, many students were forced to train by themselves. Whether it was running, following workouts on YouTube or daily exercises, it was a hard task for many. There wasn’t the reality of going into a gym and having friends and coaches around anymore. The one thing people had was dedication. 

Perseverance was not super easy for seventh-grade Gym America gymnast Ella Woltmann-Lewis. It was tough when they were cleared to return to training. 

“It was hard to go back because there were three months off and we didn’t really do much except for conditioning,” Woltmann-Lewis said. “It took probably a solid month to actually be able to do things again and our strength was really weak when we came back in.”

They said it was like going back to level zero.

“It was also difficult because our coaches couldn’t spot us in the beginning due to COVID restrictions,” Woltmann-Lewis said. “If you are trying a new skill or trying to get a skill back, it’s highly dangerous to not have someone spot you and stand right there to help you. But now because everything is getting better, they now are allowed to spot us so we’re able to try new things.”

It’s a slow and hard process getting back into the schedule of training every day for many people, especially on the first day. According to Healthline, changes will definitely be seen after six to eight weeks of training and exercise. At the least it takes around one and a half months to get back into shape; that’s a long process for many students.

“It was quite hard and tiring because we did an intense workout on my first day back,” Hu said. “The coaches said they would go easy on me for the first day, but they made me swim a 300-meter Freestyle the second I got into the pool, and my lungs couldn’t handle that. It was not easy.”

With a vaccine and COVID numbers declining, many gyms have started to open. But this time, with precautions and requirements. 

“We have to individually sign up for different slots now because our whole team together is too big for the number of people that can legally be there,” Woltmann-Lewis said. “So now we have to go at certain times. There’s also lots of mask enforcement, too.”

In Hu’s swim team, only two people are allowed to swim in one lane at a time to keep everyone safe. These precautions are there to keep everyone safe but still, accidents do happen. 

“I’ve done three meets this season,” Hu said. “My first one was in February. My mom actually somehow caught COVID there even though she was wearing double masks. It was not good.”

Though many parents are still worried about COVID, Hu managed to find a way to convince her mom.

“I really wanted to go back to swimming and so I tried persuading my mom to sign me up,” Hu said. “I think I had some great points including how I should get back into exercising and how I won’t have to struggle so much when the pandemic ends completely. In the end, I persuaded her and she said I can go as long as I make sure I stay safe.” 

Though life is slowly resuming back to normal, staying cautious is still great for athletes, as COVID is still around. Though AAPS has not given out an official return date for middle school sports, as time moves forward, more and more students will be seen going back and resuming their out-of-school sports like normal.