With the cancellation of Fall Term interscholastic sports, Andover’s athletic department and coaches have brainstormed ways to keep students healthy and active. As a result, several new sports offerings are beginning next week for both remote students and students living on campus.
Seeing and Being in the Land
Seeing and Being in the Land is a new athletic option for remote students looking to establish a connection with the outdoors. Throughout the term, participants will have the opportunity to develop routines for hikes, bike rides, and more—all while sharing their ideas and learning about nature.
Rafael Kelman (Instructor):
“As opposed to most sports offerings, Seeing and Being in the Land is not a sport. It is a way of moving our bodies outside, but our concerns are not really about what strategies we are going to use to improve at this particular sport so much as how we live our lives and move around in our bodies outdoors. Maybe this brings more of an overlap of what you would encounter in an art course or a [Religion & Philosophy] course because there’s a little more thinking and talking involved. I’m hoping that, together, we try to be more attentive to the landscape [and] to the spaces we are moving through [while] thinking about the ecology of where we’re at and some of the non-human life forms that are around us.”
Quinn Novick ’22:
“Seeing and Being in the Land definitely has a focus on more of an educational and fitness outlook. I feel like the ability to not only express the primary function of sports, which is physical fitness, but also [to] have an educational experience and really learn more about the environment around you, is pretty unique.”
Reporting by Jay Aziabor.
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ANOTHER NEW ATHLETIC OPTION for REMOTE students key only w/Art Instructor Mr. Kelman. Seeing and Being in the Land In this offering, you will develop your own routine of hikes, dog walks, bike rides, rambles, etc., alongside practices of observation, documentation, or art-making. You might keep a sketchbook, record bird songs, photograph clouds or fire hydrants, collect leaf specimens, or whatever else you choose. Throughout the term you will be offered optional prompts, exercises, podcasts, videos, and short readings to help you hone your powers of creative perception. These resources will have a special focus on deepening our awareness and understanding of the land as we move through it, in terms of both the natural world and the built environment, urban, rural or suburban. Twice a week we will have an opportunity to share ideas, field research, art, and other creations together as a group. Sample discussion topics: What is nature? Can you feel or see the history of the land you walk on? Can anyone help me identify this plant? Why do we make pictures of the world around us? Interested? Contact Coach Joel at email@example.com ASAP
Couch to 5k
Couch to 5k is a new life sport being offered for students attending Andover remotely this fall. This sports option focuses on each student setting an athletic goal for themself and creating a concrete plan to achieve it. Throughout the term, participants will meet once a week as a group to check in, but will exercise three to four times a week separately to accommodate remote students.
Lisa Svec (Instructor):
This summer I was hiking with a friend of mine and we were talking about what school is going to look like this fall, and I thought, ‘I would love to do a couch to 5k’ and she said, ‘that may work out great—what would it look like?’ So I thought that it seemed like a reasonable thing to do given the circumstances. It’s nice to have a goal to set that is totally doable, but also fun. For example, I’d like to learn how to change a tire, and at the end you’re like, “Wow I did it.” So, that’s where the idea came from. It was either that kids were excited about [the opportunity] or they didn’t know what else they should sign up for, but we now have two sections, one of which Mr. Rogers is coaching. I think we now have about 20 kids total.
I think that ideally down the road this could be an option that we have on campus because it would be super fun to do this together. But, it also would be tailored to individuals, so some people might be ready to start already running a mile, while others might need to work up to even that.
Reporting by Cassidy Sadowski.
Martial Arts Training
Martial Arts Training, based on several different styles of martial arts, will be offered for the first time this fall. As a life sport, Martial Arts Training will provide a place for students with a variety of backgrounds to work on their technique of basic skills, as well as to build their strength and control.
Michael Legaspi (Instructor):
“Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. is the schedule we’ll start with. We have good numbers at this point, so we’ll probably have two groups: an early group and a late group within that 3:30-5:30 p.m. block… Some people teach martial arts in a traditional way that follows a particular approach, whether it’s karate or kung fu or something else like that – but my approach is more eclectic. Whatever the student’s background is, there’s definitely a way in which the different styles can contribute to what we’re doing as an activity. Martial arts is a life activity around the world for millions of people, and I want very much to create a place in the athletic program for students to learn and also to cultivate skills in the martial arts that will serve them not only here now with exercise and strength, but also in their future lives beyond Andover.”
Emma Kaplon ’21:
“I chose to participate in martial arts this term because I was excited about the opportunity to try something different on campus. I have played soccer and lacrosse for years, but taking martial arts as a school sports requirement is a unique Covid-19 experience that I wanted to take advantage of. In Martial Arts Training this term, I hope to connect with people on campus who I haven’t gotten a chance to get to know during my time at Andover so far. I also want to learn more about the different forms and practices of martial arts.”
Reporting by Kiera Suh.
This year, Andover is reviving Abbot Walks as an athletic option, an Abbot Academy tradition dating back to 1913. Students will walk the same routes used many years ago while learning about the history and importance of Abbot Academy.
Flavia Vidal (Instructor):
We are going to be bringing back one of the athletic requirements that, for a number of years, the students experienced at Abbot Academy. The way in which this is going to be unique is that during these walks, we’re planning to have conversations about Abbot history and the importance of Abbot Academy for our current [Andover] experience. [We will discuss] what it means for us to be the kind of school that relies on this fantastic legacy of gender equitable education that goes back for so many years, and how that has influenced the work that we do nowadays for gender, equity, and inclusion. We need to know our history and we need to know our forebears and what they did for us. In the year that we are celebrating milestones, like the one hundredth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, we are getting close to celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Andover and Abbot Academy coming together as one institution. We are mourning the passing of [Ruth Bader Ginsburg]; there are so many ways in which we have to think about learning the history of these incredible women and what that means for us nowadays.
Reporting by Tiffany Tang