What We’ve Learned During This Pandemic
The resiliency of our student athletes and coaches in our ATAC program in the past months has been amazing. As we continued to attempt to offer athletic experiences this year, these individuals were making the most of tough times and demonstrating great resolve to change. Turning a problem into an opportunity, gave all our players and coaches the chance to demonstrate the never-give-up spirit of athletic activities.
These were not the times to run away from our passions but an opportunity to run toward them and to find what it is that motivated us to reconnect. That is how we launched a virtual athletics program that included most of our school sports. It took us a while to get into the mood of our online practices but these began being more entertaining as we started organizing combined practices with other schools from Brazil, Chile and Argentina.
Coaches demonstrated resilience again, finding new ways to conduct competition to keep our students engaged. That is how our student athletes competed in the Trewhela’s Cup in basketball, soccer, volleyball and cheerleading, dominated in the Battle of Brazil Virtual Challenge where we won in almost every single sport to then finished strong in a very successful virtual cross country competition organized by the Graded School of São Paulo.
As the school year moved forward and the chances of returning to in-person practices became slim, our coaches were invited to come during the school day to fill our lunch breaks with joy through drills and games of our students’ favorite sports. It’s been great to see everyone so happy with this opportunity of experiencing a little glimpse of athletics in their school year. It has been so successful that we have been able to offer these activities to our 4th and 5th graders in lower school.
There is no doubt, high school juniors and seniors involved in high school sports would have preferred a less turbulent end to their high school days, but many have been willing to go to great lengths to have an opportunity to participate.
Our hats are off to our Seniors 2021, who have shown maturity and resolve as their culminating year has been impacted due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a blessing and an honor to work with them in their last years of their school career and we thank them for their amazing efforts and their tremendous contributions in all these years at EARJ.
Their kind words, their uplifting messages to their teams and to the program will never be forgotten. We will miss them, but thank them for the enormous legacy they leave in their teams. This group of graduating student athletes taught us what our Athletics motto really means when we say: Panthers never quit! They showed us that the challenges we were all facing were just great opportunities to embrace them and follow our passion for sports, keeping our heads up and going forward despite the obstacles we all faced along the way.
It is difficult to say good-bye to them not having given them the opportunity to participate to the fullest in their last high school sports season but we all know that EARJ is a better place because they left life lessons in teamwork, leadership and overcoming adversity.
To our forever Panthers from the Class of 2021 that will never be forgotten!
Director of Athletics and Activities