Up to this point, we haven’t lived in a world where sports couldn’t be played.
Typically, this is the time fans move from cheering on their favorite Cinderella team during March Madness, to attending opening day celebrations for Major League Baseball (MLB). Don't forget mixing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) Playoffs while paying close attention to Tiger's quest to repeat at the Masters Tournament. For a lot of the world, evenings, social gatherings and special celebrations involve sports. From professional to collegiate, to high school, and even youth, athletics are something to watch, something to be excited about, something to look forward to...
So without sports, “what are we going to do?”
To be honest, I believe we need sports at a time like this. Think about it; a bad day can be quickly taken care of with a great performance on the athletic field. Athletics is an outlet for many, offering a break from the heavy stuff; the stuff we don’t want to process just yet, the stuff we can’t process, and the unknown.
When I think about Tilton School athletics, I am missing not only the competition on a game day, but the sense of community that sports at our school brings. We rally around each other on a Friday night under the lights. We pile in cars to go watch a team compete on the road. We pick each other up after the worst defeat and celebrate each success as if it were our own. We talk in plurals - it's always “WE beat them,” even if you’ve never set foot on the court or field. Just talking about it makes me smile.
Through all of the unknown, what I can tell you is we will get through this together. Of course we’d love to get our spring season back. We’d love to sit in the bleachers and watch a baseball game. Even though we can’t change the situation we are currently in, we can take comfort in the notion that our Tilton School community connection is just as strong today as it was before. United, we can send our unwavering support to those who aren’t healthy, those fighting this virus, and those working hard on the frontlines to prevent the spread and care for those who are sick.
Soon sports will return and life for most will go back to some sense of normal. Until then, don’t forget some of the positives.
You’re home with your families. Traffic is gone. You’ve replaced fast food with home-cooked meals. The air you breathe is a bit cleaner, the world a bit quieter. You are finding ways to be creative, you’ve re-discovered your imagination. You have made your health a priority and you’ve really focused on you.
Maybe this time without athletics was our time to think about why we love sports to begin with– why we began playing in the first place. Remember what Nelson Mandela said, "Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does" I promise you, athletics will continue to do just that for all of us when they return.
Tara was appointed Tilton's Athletic Director in July 2014 after working as Assistant Athletic Director and Admissions Associate at Tilton for the previous five years. She continues her role as Head Coach of the Girls' Varsity Basketball team. A three-time Academic All-American at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate New York, Tara reached the Division III Sweet 16 Women's Basketball National Championship as both a player and a coach. Before her arrival at Tilton, she spent four seasons as a collegiate assistant women's basketball coach, first at Williams College and then at Saint Anselm College. In both coaching positions, Tara developed on- and off-season strength and conditioning programs, organized team community service projects, and assisted in recruiting prospective student athletes. Most recently, Tara completed a master's of education degree with a concentration in athletic administration from Plymouth State University in the Spring of 2016.