By Cynthia Solis
Athletics have not been the same since the start of the pandemic, and Coach Kimberly Romero of the ELAC swim team can’t wait to get her swimmers back in the pool.
“Once the district deems it safe to go back to the pool on campus, we’ll be starting back up ASAP,” Coach Romero said.
Seeing that many swimmers haven’t been in a pool for months, if not at all due to the quarantine, it is no surprise that Romero wants to get started right away so she and her athletes can safely convene their swimming abilities to get back into a routine.
Trying to figure out how to maintain a safe environment while having athletes practice is one of the athletics department’s primary concerns.
Romero stressed that the department had worked long hours to put together a protocol for each sports facility, including the swim stadium. Although there is no definitive plan put into place yet, it is of the utmost importance to Romero to social distance and even designates swim lanes for individual use.
Romero has not seen her team since the start of the pandemic but did utilize zoom meetings to catch up with her athletes.
She was excited to say that they have been granted access to on-campus training at the track field.
With that being said, land workouts don’t excite the swimmers the way a pool would. Romero says, “We were doing Zoom workouts. But being swimmers, they want to be in the water. They very much rather be swimming.”
A worry that Romero has is that the team won’t be granted access to their swim stadium.
Since it is not definitive that the swim team will be able to go back this semester, they can’t do anything but wait for the “okay” to go practice.
Besides the obvious disappointment of not being able to go back to the pool herself, she worries about the devastation it will bring her swimmers.
“The swimmers are incredibly excited to go back and are fully aware that protocols need to be followed to make sure everyone is safe once they return.
“They are all okay with implementing the appropriate protocols as long as they can go back into the pool,” said Romero.
Swimmer Yuridia Vivas has been on the team since Spring 2020.
Like many other sports, the swim team was unable to finish their season. She said, “Knowing that I couldn’t finish the season made me feel sad because all your hard work and all the training felt like it was for nothing.”
Even though her season was cut short, she gave her total energy to the team, coach and herself.“Just like that, [I] can’t finish the season. It hurt, Vivas said.
Vivas is very excited to go back. She understands that Coach Romero has been doing everything within her power to keep the swimmers safe when doing their land workouts.
She is looking forward to seeing the rest of her team because she has gotten very close with her teammates, about whom she said, “the girls become part of your family and motivation.”