Hi friends, personal update... I have been here in Hamburg, Germany for a little over a month now waiting out the virus after season was officially cancelled. It was a mission in a half abruptly having to leave Cyprus before borders closed and things became more strict around the entire world. Between cancelled flights, rental cars, border controls, and virus checks, many players in similar situations also struggled to close contracts and flee home before we were no longer allowed to move across continents back home.
Seasons were officially cancelled without a proper finish. It’s no secret COVID-19 has created so many challenges we never saw coming, across countless communities. Since volleyball is the community I’ve been immersed, so much of what I’ve seen on social media are the struggles of fellow players. So, while patiently waiting for my departure, my teammate Courtney and I came up with this little passion project.
PSA -- This is not about pity: we know how lucky we are to get to do what we do. And we know the privilege we carry. We are simply trying to affect positive thoughts through positive actions in a space we can actually achieve it at this time.
We can’t resolve everything in the world right now, but we can attempt to heal what we know. And what we know is that having a community can heal many wounds; to share light on the sport we so lovingly get to call our jobs is our idea of the best way of doing that now.
With that, many potential memories, experiences, and farewells have been put on hold or disappeared altogether. Time to process and reflect is healthy and necessary. You are allowed to pause and take that time when you need it. We need it, so we are creating it now. No matter where you have ended up due to COVID-19, you deserve to take the time.
Each year, everyone’s season ends differently: with a championship, retirement, a heartbreaking loss, with an injury, or maybe even with motivation for a forthcoming season…but for the first time, everybody’s season ended the same.
The goals we spent months striving towards suddenly changed. All that mattered was getting to a safe place as fast as possible. There was no time to process, think, share or bring closure as we raced to the airport or even just to the supermarkets before shutting our doors. For the first 6 weeks, we watched friends grapple with the stunning end to their seasons – or even careers – and race to beat travel bans and border closings in order to get home.
We all know about Kobe’s Dear Basketball letter. The message is powerful, and we wanted to use it to create a similar reaction.Take a look on instagram at our @matchpointcovid page to see some examples. It can go on your story or feed, whichever you prefer.
What are we asking YOU for? Think of this as your typical “end of the season” post:
Start with: Dear Volleyball,
Choice is yours here -
Write your love letter to the sport; how your story was affected by Covid-19...
Use your own words, or use some of these to inspire thought - -
What didn’t you get to say?
Who didn’t you get to say goodbye to?
What didn’t you get to think, say, feel?
What feelings were pushed under the rug?
What goals were put on hold?
What training was thrown off course?
What challenges do you face next?
How do you think this may shape your future?
What do you miss most about the game?
Sign off with: #matchpointcovid and @matchpointcovid
Quarantine has us on our phones even more than usual, able to connect and see how similar our stories are; we are running but not running alone. With these slowing moments, we are creating a shared space; trying to create space for people to share things they don’t get to because of the virus; create space to experience the moments that were taken away by how our seasons ended; you spend eight or nine months with a specific ending in mind, and then it’s gone. Or, for many beach players, have trained since last summer preparing for the start to this summer's season now delayed or cancelled.
All levels, all seasons, all together we are feeling these effects here, now.
Let’s weave this community back together; Now it’s your turn to share.
REMINDER: Use the hashtag #matchpointcovid so we can follow each other’s stories and offer support. Community is healing, and knowing you’re being heard by people who understand is the best way of getting through the thick of it. We are here to take everyone’s stories and weave them together.