As soon as University of Rhode Island students began to see hope at the end of the tunnel for the launch of their fall semester, the coronavirus surprised them with the cancellation of all fall varsity athletic events. To many this may seem like a minor set back, however to student athletes it is so much more than that. How much more can the coronavirus take away from our lives and when will things go back to normal?
As the catcher for the URI Club Softball team I was disappointed when I heard the news; Softball has been such a big part of my life and being on the club team has been so rewarding because I was truly gifted with a second family. However this feeling didn’t compare to the utter devastation of my teammates who are about to graduate. Abby Cohen, Senior at URI and President of the Club Softball Team states, “This is going to be a hard and weird semester for everyone, club sports officially being cancelled is just the icing on top of what seems like an ongoing college nightmare. I had a feeling this would happen considering the virus is showing no signs of slowing down...”. She made a good point, as the Coronavirus has now infected over fifteen-million people in the world and, at this point, it seems as though there is no light at the end of our tunnel.
The pandemic outbreak has changed every aspect of human life and will only continue to do so if the proper precautions are not followed. Rhode Island Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn acknowledges all the hardships and difficulties URI students are experiencing in the recent email that was sent out on Friday evening. Bjorn voices, “Our primary responsibility is to act in the best interests of the health and well-being of all our student-athletes, and our wider community.” If you ask me, I feel like we are hearing the same thing from every single person who has to speak about COVID-19. It is always “these are times of uncertainty” or “we are doing our best.” Well, it has been four months since the outbreak and we are still living through a time of unpredictability.
Nonetheless, the Atlantic-Ten will continue to monitor coronavirus moreover no changes have been made to the arrangement of winter sports. However, with this being said I do not see the season of any winter sport going smoothly. There are going to be rules, regulations and protocols which must be followed at every sporting event. Right now, the focus is to shift fall schedules to the spring to give everyone the opportunity to play their season. The postponed Rams seasons from the Atlantic-Ten fall season include:
Women's Soccer Men’s Cross Country Women’s Cross Country Volleyball Men’s Golf Women’s Tennis Women’s Swimming Women’s Diving Women’s Rowing Softball Baseball
More information on these postponed seasons will soon be available as the current conditions continue to evolve.
The Coronavirus will not put an end to our URI sense of community and family. When athletic events resume we will come back stronger and better than ever.