Non-Groton Sports: A No-Go

Compilation+of+news+articles.+Courtesy+of+Amy+Ma+%2723.

Amy Ma '23

Compilation of news articles. Courtesy of Amy Ma '23.

Non-Groton sports, also known as club sports, have been a popular fit into many Groton students’ athletic routines. In past years, student-athletes have joined additional teams in order to stay in shape, showcase their talents to college coaches, or simply continue to play the sport they love year-round. 

With a new list of norms for this fall term, club sports, showcases, and any off-campus extracurricular activities are prohibited to any person who wishes to live on campus this year. This rule applies to all students, including day students, unless one decides to be a remote learner. 

These changes, however, come with costs, especially for students who relied on club teams for greater advances in their athletic careers. “I’m upset I won’t be able to play the sport I love on a team I really enjoy playing with,” said Maddy Son ’21, who has played club hockey with the East Coast Wizards for two seasons. Maddy is the captain of the Girls Varsity Hockey team at Groton. She originally played club hockey for a year-round competitive team experience with tournaments and an opportunity to compete at nationals. This year, however, she will be unable to. 

While some enjoy the competitive nature of certain clubs, others look to use these teams as preparation for college. One such student is Cassidy Thibodeau ’21, field hockey captain and UNC committed athlete who also plays for Boston Field Hockey Club. Cassidy says she usually structures her weekends around her club teams, and it will be difficult not to play this year. “It may be a blessing in disguise, as I get extra days in the week to play with the lacrosse and, hopefully, the hockey team!” she comments. She also describes how less commitment to clubs may be, “nice for more time to focus on schoolwork and to spend time with her friends.” It seems like new pathways and optimism for the future can come from this club sports restriction. 

Speaking of optimism, Mr. Maqubela has mentioned the future of this Non-Groton sports restriction stating in his email announcing the policy, “Should the circumstances in Massachusetts and the country improve in the coming months, we will reexamine this policy.” 

For now, the athletic department has opted for a hybrid plan to alleviate the pressure this restriction might have ensued. Overall, the athletic department has been working hard to craft a trajectory of athletic routine on campus to help students go where they want to go in their individual sports. While the future for club sports looks unpromising, Groton is advocating for “patience and understanding” through these unpredictable times.