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The LEAP Student Blog

"Coming Back" by Maggie Ogden, Clarkston HS
 10/20/2020 12:00:00 AM

Maggie Ogden
Clarkston High School, Class of 2022

Have you been stuck in your house for months on end due to the Coronavirus? Are you starting to feel cooped up and trapped? We all of us seem to have gotten very anxious to get out of the house and do something...anything. For most people this means the freedom to be active- to boost your health, brighten your soul, calm your mind, and allow you to do more with your life. This is especially true for student athletes who have lost the opportunity to participate in school organized activities and sports. This lack of activity has led to the decreased physical and mental health of competitors. Return to play is of the highest priorities of student athletes during the pandemic.

According to the Oxford Journal of Medicine, “Studies have shown that both objective social isolation and subjective sense of being alone are associated with suicidal ideation and behavior. These observations are consistent across diverse cultures and populations.” Across all backgrounds teen mental health is declining due to the distress, anxiety, fear of contagion, depression and insomnia that the Corona virus has created. To combat Covid-19 related suicides and mental illness, we must decrease the amount of emotional distress in the general population. This directly correlates with the ability for students to participate in organized sports and activities.   

The majority of schools in Washington currently have online classes with no sports opportunities, but my school, along with few others, is open for in person class and has implemented return-to-play safely sports plans. Understanding the detrimental effects that the lack of physical activity and social engagement has on adolescents, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities Clarkston High School has created for us. We were able to implement return-to-play plans because our community has low
enough coronavirus rates that we can safely social distance. I am certain that if you ask any student in CHS they will tell you that this has been an amazing experience for us after being quarantined for so long. On the flip side, there are some disadvantages. During practice we are required to wear masks which makes breathing more difficult, we cannot share equipment such as balls and gear, we must keep a safe social distance, we practice with half as many people, and we have no live games...just practice. However, even the simple act of getting out onto the court or on the field surrounded by friends and teammates is a great relief. Starting to practice again is a great feeling that everyone deserves to have once it is safe to implement.
Through all the downfalls and restrictions Coronavirus has created, the loss of school sports and activities is one that students are struggling the most with. Exercise promotes healthy living, stable metal health, and stress release. In addition practices bring together student athletes and create opportunities for social interaction, something rare in these current times. Our biggest collective goal right now is that everyone will be able to return to play soon, and safely. I completely trust the WIAA and their board of committee members to give us the best opportunities and options for sports this year.

Additional reading: "The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates"

From: Carol Hernandez 11/2/2020 6:49 PM

Nice job!

From: Shannon Wilson AD 11/2/2020 7:55 PM

Maggie, so proud of you n your words. I believe exactly what you have said, and coming from a student athlete.....it makes even more sense and my resolve to get us back. Thank you n couldnt be prouder of you and your school n teammates.

From: Christine Dooley 11/2/2020 9:12 PM

Great article Maggie!

From: cathy beaty 11/3/2020 8:27 AM

Maggie--I appreciate your clear presentation of this issue. I hope sports continue to open up.

From: Jim Poindexter 11/13/2020 12:59 PM

Great article and much needed. Well though out and well written. ??????

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October 2020

10/20/2020 "Coming Back" by Maggie Ogden, Clarkston HS

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