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How Covid-19 Has Affected Pinewood Club Sport Athletes written by james duong, photo by alexander mccormick

While Pinewood sports teams have been affected by the pandemic, Pinewood athletes who participate in sports outside of school have been impacted as well. Some students have had to do workouts on zoom, and others had their practices postponed or even their seasons canceled. Students report that it has been a challenge to participate in their sports, but they have adapted to this new experience.

“I play club soccer for Woodside soccer club. When the first stay-at-home order came, we [were] given through email some drills to work on. Then we started to have practice with no more than four kids throughout the summer without masks,” eighth grader Paul Sapilewski said.

Like other athletes, Sapilewski had to work on drills by himself with instructions from his coaches. Eighth grader Arianna Upadhyay Wessel, who is doing horseback riding, has faced similar problems.

“We always have to wear masks at all times with the exception of on the horse. Many people have chosen to wear masks even on the horse. The arenas are limited to one trainer per ring for the smaller rings and two for some of the bigger,” Upadhyay Wessel said.

“Most competitive shows were canceled, and lessons were put on hold. Because horseback riding is caring for another animal, we were still able to ride with restrictions,” Upadhyay Wessel said.

Despite having shows canceled, she can still practice herself and ride – albeit with restrictions. Like most athletes, she still has to wear a mask and social distance.

“We always have to wear masks at all times with the exception of on the horse. Many people have chosen to wear masks even on the horse. The arenas are limited to one trainer per ring for the smaller rings and two for some of the bigger,” Upadhyay Wessel said.

With restrictions constantly changing, nobody knows what the near future holds for club sports. However, even under strict guidelines, athletes have found ways to continue playing.

However, her lessons and shows have recently been allowed to continue. Sapilewski’s soccer practices have resumed as well.

“Now, although we are at a different field because Woodside fields are closed, we are able to have 12 kids at practice. We still are not playing against other clubs,” Sapilewski said.

With restrictions constantly changing, nobody knows what the near future holds for club sports. However, even under strict guidelines, athletes have found ways to continue playing.