In these unprecedented times, the consequences of COVID had a weighty impact on students involved in extracurricular activities.
“I learned a lot from COVID,” Utica senior Liam MacKenzie, golfer and bowler, said. “It has caused me to be more grateful for the extracurriculars that I am involved in. Extracurriculars, to me, are very important because it helps relieve the stresses of life and allows you to do something you love with other people.”
Being involved in extracurricular activities brought adjustments.
“My whole team and I were extremely discouraged when we found out that our season was cancelled early this year,” Utica sophomore cheerleader Rachel Czarnecki said. “We hope next year will be better.”
Athletes were happy some fall sports were able to commence.
“I was very grateful we were back in the position to do what we love again,” Utica sophomore wrestler and football player Conner MacKenzie said. “It was a huge stress reliever for me, personally. It felt good when my team could finally work and grow together.”
Restrictions that took place while participating in extracurricular activities were not the safest solutions for students.
“Wearing masks for long periods of time restricts oxygen levels and allows bacteria to be breathed back into the lungs, which can actually weaken the immune system,” Nichola McKay, Utica parent of 12th grader Liam and 10th grader Conner MacKenzie, said. “Kids need to breathe fresh air, especially during running and in high-contact sports like football.”
Having more than just academics can help students through the pandemic.
“Student participation in extracurricular activities is super important,” Oakland Christian school counselor Jeneane Frazee said. “We all need hobbies and outlets in the community or group we belong to. I have seen a lightness, a joy and a sense of community in our students once again that I have not seen in a while.”
Encouraging students to keep a positive outlook has been set in place for all athletics, academics and clubs.