Marymount Football in Times of the Pandemic


Over the past few months, sports trainings around the world have resumed, and Marymount Aces have too. School football practices started in the week of the 28th of September. However, there were some difficulties in terms of adapting to the strict health and safety measures that had to be implemented to ensure the safety of the team players and staff.

One of the most visible impacts of these measures is the change introduced to the schedule. The number of training sessions has been significantly reduced for both high school and middle school.  Another challenge that the team has faced is the limited number of spots offered—fifteen people per session. Additionally, for the safety of others, the players must distance from teammates of different grades. Some players manifest their frustration towards this policy. “Football is a contact sport. Now, we can’t tackle which is especially hard when trying to defend,” noted Angela Lotzch Abarca, (Grade 10). She added, “The fact that you can’t tackle each other defies the purpose of football!”

The safety measures have certainly made it difficult to play the sport. However, to some members of the team, they have created reassurance. Furthermore, the restrictions have allowed the team to explore a different perspective on practices. Mr. Elden, the Assistant Coach of the team, commented, “it was a challenge to try and find interesting drills that enabled the team to remain socially distant, and this limits what we can do in training.” He added that “the first practices have been very successful overall.”

According to Mr. Clainos, the Head Coach, “the biggest change has been the fact that we are not involved in competitive match play and competitions due to the restrictions.” The ISSA Tournament has been postponed indefinitely. It was revealed in the first football practice that an opportunity for the team to play may present at the end of the school year, but this will depend on the situation regarding COVID-19 in the United Kingdom and other participating countries. Olivia Paterson (Grade 11) stated that the lack of tournaments may have larger repercussions on the improvement of the players. She explains, “In the past, I have always improved most from match experience so not having that is difficult because I am not able to analyse where I went wrong and improve in training and the next match we would play.”

Regardless of the difficulties, the players understand the necessity of these measures in the current situation and express their gratitude towards the opportunity to participate in trainings.

UPDATE: As of 9th November, a second lockdown in England has put after-school practices on hold. Students are expected to leave campus by 4:15pm.