Craig Lauinger 0

Reinstate TC Williams Swimming and Diving!!

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The recent decision by ACPS for TC Williams High School not to participate in winter sports (specifically Swimming and Diving) is patently unfair and is doing an injustice to the young athletes who have given so much to the sport that they love. ACPS has come to this decision regardless of the fact that the VHSL Executive Director John Haun has worked closely with both Governor Northam’s administration and the Virginia Department of Health to outline how high school sports can be played safely- detailed in 39 pages of regulations. This was not done frivolously, but ACPS has chosen to ignore those recommendations.

Many schools in other states successfully played fall sports without outbreaks and in places where the COVID numbers are substantially higher than in Alexandria. Obviously, we all need to make every effort to keep our children safe, however...the club swimming and diving model in Northern VA (since June 2020) has proven to be extremely effective at keeping our kids training and competing in their sport, with very low COVID cases. Keep in mind that the pools in Northern Virginia are CHLORINATED- an environment proven effective for many decades at inhibiting the transmission of communicable disease. Unlike many contact sports, Swimming and Diving are about as “COVID safe” as can be. The TC High School swimming and diving programs are in no way mandatory. If parents aren’t comfortable having their kids participate, then the answer for those folks is a simple one: Don’t participate.

The pandemic in 2020 has taken much from our learning, graduations, homecomings and daily interaction with friends and colleagues. And now ACPS wants to extract an even higher too from their athletes.

It's true there's work involved in making a competitive swimming and diving season happen: a safe training and competition environment, reduction in team size, and appropriate distancing are all things that need to be figured out. If Potomac Valley Swimming has found a way to accomplish this with success, then why must the TC athletes be penalized?

Often in life the most difficult things are the things most worth doing. Isn’t this something that has been constantly reinforced to our kids through sports? “Never take the easy way out” is a motto our young athletes have been taught throughout the years, and it's precisely what ACPS is doing. Easy for them...but hardest on our kids.

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