BC held a seminar to discuss the BC Athletics Program during COVID

Amaya Lawton, Reporter

Bakersfield College, President Sonya Christian, hosted a virtual seminar, on Sept. 8, with the BC Athletics Program.

President Sonya Christian started the meeting by discussing how this year has impacted everyone in many ways. She explained how even though many may not be able to meet right now there are still virtual options to get together.

“… the concept of the team give students purpose,” Christian said.

This led to the focus of the seminar; how the athletics program impacts many athletes. The panelists then go into detail and give anecdotes about how all of BC’s faculty and resources are there for every student and athlete to utilize.

Student-athlete, Sarah Lopez, presented her side of how COVID-19 is affecting her mentally and physically with not being able to be on the court for Volleyball. Lopez explained how volleyball is her home away from home. She describes how her coach, Carl Ferreira, has certain philosophies that get them through the tough times.

“Your sport is a part of who you are…,” Lopez said.

Lopez explained that it was hard to find motivation while in a pandemic. It may be difficult at times, but she described that by having virtual team meetings and regular updates, it helped find that motivation.

Reggie Bolton, BC Athletic Director, spoke about how this is the time to get to know each athlete. To talk to them and know how they are mentally and how they may be dealing with the pandemic. Bolton explained how coaches and athletes spend more time together than they might with their own family. This is how they all become a family. He ended with the excitement of hopefully being able to have BC athletes back on the court very soon.

The death of Keithen Estrada, a BC wrestler, was reflected upon in the seminar. According to the panelist in this seminar, Estrada was an amazing person inside and out. The impact he made on others was remarkable and caused many to reflect on themselves and others during this time. During the seminar, coach Clark stated that it had been a month since his death.

Brett Clark, head coach of the BC wrestling team, was one who was deeply affected by his death. During the seminar, he reflected on how much Estrada meant to him. Clark explained that as coaches and as people in general that no one knows what is going on in someone’s life. He then continued to state that as a coach he signed up for this job, so he has to make sure that he tries to know where his athletes are mentally off the floor as well.

The seminar reflected on the impact on being on an athletic team has on one’s health. During COVID this is being challenged with not being around teammates or on campus to be away from home. Many lives have been drastically affected by COVID and that includes the mental health of many students and student-athletes. However, there are various resources now virtually that one can use to help through this difficult time.