DCCC athletes face off against a pandemic

By Lerence Melton

Take a moment and think if you were an athlete and could not play the sport you enjoy, and could not be around your teammates and coaches. 

How would that make you feel? 

Right now, that is what many student athletes at DCCC are dealing with. Since early spring of last year, when all athletic activities were shut down because of the current COVID-19 pandemic,  DCCC athletes have had to adjust without playing any sports or activities.

The athletes went from practicing, training, and being a full-time student athlete to just being a student.  Many athletes at DCCC had been playing sports a majority of their lives and it has become a part of who they are. 

Therefore, having no athletics has stripped them of part of who they are. That could be very frustrating and upsetting. Participating in sports can really be an outlet for many athletes and can help with the stress that comes with being a student as well, so for that to be taken away is something incredibly hard to deal with.

Sara Steinman has seen firsthand what the athletes are going through at DCCC. As the director of Wellness, Athletics and Recreation for the College, her role allows her to interact directly with the athletes. 

Steinman and I discussed how her role has changed since the temporary cancellation of sports. 

“What has been most difficult since the cancellation of sports is dealing with how much I miss the student-athletes and watching them compete,” she said.

“There are so many tremendous benefits to being a collegiate student-athlete and I feel for this group of athletes who are missing out on that opportunity at the moment.”

– Sara steinman

Steinman explained that although athletes were not actively competing, she was still focusing her attention on preparation for their eventual return to playing. 

“In addition, my responsibilities with wellness and recreation have taken a more prominent role as we can continue to offer virtual programs in these areas,” Steinman explained. “We have been able to offer esports on a larger scale so that has been a benefit to the virtual world of sports over the past year.”

Clearly, not only has the pandemic affected the athletes, but it also hurts the staff around them as well. 

While the athletes continue to deal with this global pandemic, the question they keep asking themselves is “When will sports start up again?” 

As athletes continue to wait on that answer, it’s important to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Look at the NBA, NFL, and MLB. 

They all figured out how to complete their seasons during the pandemic, so hopefully that encourages DCCC Phantoms to be optimistic that, at some point, they will be able to practice, train, and play again in the near future.

For more information about virtual sports activities at DCCC, students are encouraged to visit https://www.dccc.edu/campus-life/athletics/athletics-recreation

Contact Lerence Melton at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

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