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Cape Cod schools stay connected during self quarantine

While schools are out of session amid the coronavirus outbreak, schools on Cape Cod, MA, are staying connected by participating in virtual challenges via social media.

Spring sports may be put on hold until May 4 at the earliest in Massachusetts, but that hasn’t stopped high school coaches and athletic directors from communicating with one another and student-athletes during the self-quarantine period.

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Photo: Scott Ashworth / Bourne athletics

In Bourne, athletic director and varsity basketball head coach Scott Ashworth has started the “Canalmen Cardio Challenge” on Twitter, which encourages Canalmen staffers and student-athletes alike to stay connected by sharing photos of themselves exercising while practicing social distancing with the hashtag #CCC. Ashworth got the challenge going by sharing photos of his frequent bike rides and divulging his weight lifting sessions.

That sparked principal Amy Cetner to get in on the action as she shared her high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. Craig Davidson, Bourne’s girls basketball coach posted the GPS tracking of his run around the neighborhood. Student-athletes have gotten in on the fun as well, sharing photos of playing pick-up hoops with their families or bike rides to take a quick snapshot with the famed Canalman statue that sits outside of the school.

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In Sandwich, the Blue Knights’ community got swept up in the Cape Cod Coin Challenge, where people were nominated to post a video catching quarters off their elbow and donate the change to a local charity before nominating others. Sandwich High School baseball head coach Brian Tomasini, also a physical education teacher at the school, has posted daily activities for physical fitness as well as mental and emotional health on his social media platforms.

And across the region, local coaches and athletic directors have taken part in challenging peers with sharing pictures of student-athlete successes, or old in-action shots of them coaching — having 24 hours to produce them or be asked to donate $20 to a charity of choice.

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These efforts speak to the connection student-athletes crave between coaches and teammates — not just on Cape Cod, but across the country. As Rhonda Blanford-Green, the Colorado High School Activities Association commissioner, outlined in a Q&A with CHSAANow.com, staying connected — even virtually — is an important part of a student-athlete’s high school experience.

“Even if it’s a teammate-to-teammate, or coach-to-athlete, we encourage virtual contact,” Blanford-Green told CHSAANow.com “All of our data has shown us that kids in crisis often times connect to their coach. And we wanted to maintain, even in the social distancing mandates, that our coaches could connect and communicate with their athletes, but especially those who are fragile without the addition of a pandemic.”