WMUB Report: Covid-19 and student athletes; a different kind of struggle

Host: COVID-19 rearrange the lives of many people, especially student athletes. Hello, I’m Lillian King. After practicing and training for months, some student athletes had their season cut short. Others lost their season entirely. Lauren rich is one of those athletes forced to hang up her tennis racquet early because of the pandemic. Lauren, thanks for joining me. What does it mean to you playing for the Mercer University’s women’s tennis team?

Guest: Well, I would say a real sense of pride because it’s really an honor to be able to represent a university as great as this and also being able to develop the friendships I have with all the other girls on the team. It’s just a great feeling.

Host: You had your season cut short last year. Tell me about like how that felt and how all of it really happened.

Guest: It was just really heartbreaking and really unexpected. I mean, I don’t think anyone could have expected that this is how our season ended. Especially for the seniors, they’ll never be able to play college sport again. But for me personally, I’ve already had a season cut short because of surgery and so it was just really heartbreaking to have another taken away.

Host: I understand that this year is going to look a lot different obviously. Tell me about how like what you know about your tennis season, upcoming tennis season this year?

Guest: well, it’s really uncertain at the moment. I mean, we’re planning to have a fall and have some tournaments here but all my other friends that their other schools all their seasons got cut short and to be honest, our coach, there’s not really a for sure answer at the moment. So we’re just kind of having to play it day by day. So with planning to have a fall Does that mean you have started practicing already? Well, we’re we were able to hit on our own for a while, like supervised hits, but we’re just now starting to get into real practices. Kind of seeing how that looks being safe at a distance, I guess.

Host: It hasn’t been easy dealing with COVID-19. But is there anything that you think that people should understand in terms of how difficult this year has been solely based on being a student athlete?

Guest: Well, I guess all I would say is that it’s just really hard to understand, like just putting in all these years of hard work in for this to be like your main goal to be able to play college sport, and just to have that time taken away, because we only get four years plus some if you get like some years back, but I mean, it’s just a short window of time and just to have any of it taken away is just really heartbreaking. And I know that’s hard to understand if you’re not an athlete, but I mean, it’s just it’s a hard situation to be in.

Host: Thank you for joining me, Lauren. I’m Lillian King with WMUB News. Thank you. See you next time.