Swim, dive team continues to bond throughout pandemic
The Rodale Aquatic Pool Center, the location of swim and dive team practices at Cedar Crest College.
Photo by Alexis Sames
Competing and team bonding for swim and dive team athletes is changing due to new COVID-19 policies at Cedar Crest College.
The Atlantic East Conference, the collection of teams through which the swimmers and divers participate, postponed competition for the remainder of the fall 2020 semester. The participation of the swim and dive team in meets will be reconsidered in the spring, according to Cedar Crest Athletics.
“The Atlantic East remains focused on providing meaningful experiences for all student-athletes in the fall of 2020 which will include opportunities for practice, small-group training, skill development, strength and conditioning and leadership programming,” a report, issued by Cedar Crest College Athletics on Sept. 14, 2020, read. “The conference will continue to monitor the landscape and conditions surrounding the pandemic, locally, regionally and nationally.”
Reconvening for the Atlantic East President’s Council will occur in the middle of November to determine if competition is possible or not in the spring semester. Practices are limited capacity, occurring less frequently, and are crucial for preparing for competitions.
COVID-19 poses negative threats for athletes. Limited hours for training makes it harder for athletes to stay in a competition mindset. Concerns for students’ health is the top-most priority. However, student athletes are still staying positive during the pandemic.
“I feel like with COVID-19 we actually have more time for team bonding compared to last year,” Josie Schwieterman, a sophomore swim team member, said. “Everyone had packed schedules before but now we have more time because many classes are online and practice schedules are limited.”
Optimism seems to be running high, even with an ongoing a global pandemic. Another winter sport athlete had a positive, but different, perspective on team bonding, as she is an online student this fall 2020 semester.
“It’s definitely way different than last season. We just found out our season has been postponed, but that was to be expected,” Ember Kriner, a sophomore swimmer, said. “I decided to stay home this semester so I’ve definitely missing out on team bonding activities. A few of my teammates went to a flower garden and took pictures as a team bonding experience.”
Spirits are high for Cedar Crest College’s swim and dive team, even with threats of a cancelled season. For now, all eyes are on the Council's decision at the meeting in November.