Unusual circumstances and strict COVID-19 regulations have impacted swim spirit for PV, but the team stays strong.
Inside the pool, there are many additional safety rules in place that impact the team. These rules limit the amount of swimmers in the pool at one time.
“There are now three different practices, an hour each. We also have to take our temperature before every practice and fill out a slip asking questions about COVID-19 to give to our coach everyday. You need to wear a mask until you are leaving to go to the pool, and you have to wear one when going to the bathroom,” Scott Kula, a sophomore on the swim team, said.
For a team who relies on the entire group for inspiration and camaraderie, these rules have been part of the challenge of a different swim year.
Still, despite these new restrictions, motivation and team spirit stays strong and has been demonstrated in new ways.
“Our team thrives by pumping everyone up for their races. Team spirit has definitely been impacted by COVID; we can’t have any team pasta parties which was a huge impact during the season where we all could sit down and talk. I definitely have told all of the swimmers that they can come to us to talk,” Ashley Derrick, senior girl’s captain, said.
The boy’s senior captain, Chris Continelli, agrees that connecting with each other has been one of the toughest challenges.
“My experience outside the pool has been very weird, there’s not much you can do with the team. The only experience that the new freshman can get is just from practice,” he said.
Although there is still uncertainty around what the rest of the season will look like, the team is still trying to focus on their goals and the team mentality.
“PV swim has taught me what it’s like to want something, like how I wanted to break my best time ever, and how I wanted to have the chance to swim in college. Another thing that swim has taught me is the feeling of being a part of something…it was nice to know that there was a sense of family,” Continelli shared.
Thanks to the supportive coaches, swimmers still feel prepared for a strong season.
“I thought that I would be less prepared this season, considering the new measures being taken for COVID-19, but my coach has made it so that I can still feel like I’ll do just as well, even better, than I did last year,” Kula said.
Despite extraordinary circumstances, once again, Perk Valley spirit reigns strong as swimmers stay positive and keep doing what they love.
Photo: Isabella Ewing