Wednesday 23 September, 2020

Players loving online classes, missing tennis tourneys due to COVID-19

Barbados' young tennis players feel online schooling fits their schedules best.

Despite missing the sport they love, online classes have shone through as the silver lining that these students just might like to keep post-COVID, especially when travelling to compete.

These athletes usually juggle school, practices, drills, social lives and tournaments - locally, regionally and internationally. Now during COVID-19 lockdowns, their schedules got reduced to homeschooling, online Zoom exercise sessions and virtual group chats with friends and family at most.

As of May 18, these student athletes got back on the courts but only for singles.

So how are they doing? Loop checked in to see how they are coping under these new conditions.

Name: Gabrielle Leslie

Age: 16 years old

School: Queen's College

What do you miss?

"Being off the court as a result of COVID-19 has been extremely frustrating. Specifically, I miss training and competing a lot. However, I've been able to keep myself occupied by exercising, completing my online schooling and assisting in the family business. Personally I love tennis and there is nothing about it that I did not enjoy.

How is homeschooling going?

"Online school has been great for me as it allows the flexibility that suits my lifestyle."

Name: Shonté Sargeant. 

Age: 13 years old

School: Christ Church Foundation School

What do you miss?

"I miss being able to go to school and see my friends everyday and having a productive day. I also miss going to training almost everyday and working hard, but most of all I miss being able to travel for tournaments and having a great time with my friends from around the Caribbean and other parts of the world."

What I don't miss?

"To be honest the only thing I don't really miss is having to wake up as early for school."

What do think about online school?

"Personally I like online school and I think it is a great way for us to still have the opportunity to get our education. [But,] even though I like online school I can't wait for us to be able to go back to school."

Name: Serena Bryan 

Age: 14 years old

School: Queen's College

What do you miss?

"During this pandemic, I miss tennis the most and I also miss physically socializing with my friends and peers."

What don't you miss?

"I don't miss having to get up and rush to school."

What do you think of homeschooling?

"I am currently enjoying online school and I personally find it better than the normal system because it is more flexible with my schedule and it allows me to be more productive."

Jolie Phillips

Age: 14 years old

School: The St Michael School

What do you miss?

"I miss interacting with my school friends and the jokes we share. Most of all I missed playing tennis. [Before May 18] I really missed the courts and the fun which we have at training. I also miss being able to play in tournaments. I was in the middle of a tournament when we went on lockdown and I was really disappointed that I was unable to complete it."

What don't you miss?

"I don't  miss the sometimes difficult fitness training and drills at tennis, although my coach now gives us Zoom sessions. I'm happy that I don't have to wake up so early to go to school."

How is homeschooling going?

"Online school has been going well, although it can be stressful at times as it is easier for teachers to give us a lot more work, but I'm getting through pretty good."


Name: Xavier Peter-Gooding

Age: 15 years old

School: The St Michael School

What are you missing?

"What I miss most is tennis. It is my favourite sport and I always want to improve in all areas of the sport, which comes with practice. With everything happening, it does not look like we will be able to travel to compete this summer either. I also miss hanging out with my friends and extended family."

What don't you miss?

"I don't miss school since we have online school now."

What do you think of online classes?

"I love it since it is so much easier to learn and focus."

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