Playing this game we all love

Published on March 16th, 2020

With the cancellation of winter and spring college sports in the USA, it is a reminder that student-athletes are to be both when attending school. But involvement in activities is an integral aspect of education, and as Danielle Richards shares, it leaves a hole when gone:


When the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) announced the end of the 2019-2020 season, it was the first time in 85 years the nationals have been canceled. As a member of the ICSA Board, I know we made the right decision given what is going on in the country right now, but I also mourn for what we lost.

As an undergraduate, sailing practice and weekend regattas was what kept me sane. No matter how crummy the school week had been, I knew on Saturday I would see a couple hundred of my friends and we would go duke it on the water and then come to shore and laugh while we cursed the amount of reading our professors assigned us.

Lugging books down to the beach to study in between sets so we could be free at night. Joking as the wind blew our notes around, moving a teammate’s bookmark when they left for their set and then laughing when they opened the book back up confused. Hours in the van driving up and down the coast, memorizing everything exit on I-5 between UC Irvine and San Francisco. It was a great five years.

As a leader and board member, I still loved coming to the regattas and seeing the kids, some of whom I had taught to sail, grow and go through the same process. Coaches, who had been mentors when I was an undergrad, were now close friends.

I know this is a blip in the long curve that is life, but I still mourn for what this blip has done and hope that come the middle of August, when it’s time for these kids to report back to campus, they can go back to playing this game that we all love.

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