An Update On WESS Sports


WESS’s 2020 Middle School Varsity basketball team

Eloise Gordon


WESS’s 2020 Middle School Varsity basketball team


To many WESS students, a vital part of their role at WESS is playing for one of WESS’s many sports teams. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WESS students have unfortunately had sports taken away from them. 


Riley Shames was the team captain for the junior varsity volleyball team. For Shames, life without her sport has been very difficult. Riley misses everything from making friends to participating in competitions. But in general Riley misses “every aspect of it.” 


These words perfectly depict the way many WESS students and coaches are feeling about the inability to participate in WESS sports.


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, participating in WESS’s talented sports teams was a way to make friends, feel accomplished in something, practice healthy exercise, and so much more. The loss of this wonderful outlet has impacted both students and coaches. 


Mariana Telerman, one of WESS’s PE teachers and the coach of many WESS sports teams including table tennis and volleyball, “I miss being a coach and teaching.” From the looks of it, sports team members are missing Mariana’s coaching and being on the team. An anonymous interviewee said she misses making friends, being a part of a group, and competing. 


Although a vital part of being on a WESS sports team is making friends, some would argue that the athletics are more important. Some former team members have used quarantine as a time to continue practicing sports, while others have been unable or unmotivated to. An anonymous student told me that she has not been practicing at all during COVID due to the fact that her usual opportunities to practice, such as going to sports camp, have become unavailable to her. 


Mariana said that some ways that WESS students have continued to be socially and physically active include social-distanced practice in the park with parents and friends, as well as signing up for social-distanced sports classes in the park. Regardless of how people are combatting the challenges of practicing sports during a pandemic, all interviewees said the same thing. They are worried that the pause on sports is going to impact their abilities overall. Mariana told me that the break can be harmful, especially if you are interested in advancing to a professional level or if you are in a younger grade because this is the prime chance to learn and develop. For students who wish to get sports scholarships, this break can be particularly detrimental


As for when WESS sports teams will be resuming, Mariana has no clue. Mariana explained that “the decision is solely up to Jessica, Kara, and the rest of Manhattan Youth.”


For sports to resume, not only does WESS need their approval, but other schools that WESS would typically compete against need to be willing to play. WESS sports not only builds community but it provides many students with exercise which is important for both our mental, social and physical health. Hopefully, many students wishes to have sports back will be coming true soon.