Anna Kalooski wasn’t about to let a little snow stop her from participating in Movement Monday.
Rhode Island schools have pivoted to distance learning in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, and Coventry High is no different. Kalooski, a senior and a soccer standout committed to Providence College, took her ball and ventured outside.
Four takes filmed on her cell phone resulted in some juggling and a left-footed kick through the center of the screen. It was Kalooski’s way of staying connected with her classmates on the first of their planned theme days this week. TikTok Tuesday was up next the following afternoon, with short dancing video clips popping up among the student body on Twitter.
Movement Monday 😀 #movementmonday #oakerspirit @CoventryOakers pic.twitter.com/caQ50EydJG
— Anna Kalooski (@annakalooski) March 23, 2020
“We’re so used to having practice and games and interaction with our teammates every day,” Kalooski said. “We kind of have to find ways around that.”
The new reality for athletes of all ages is a world without organized sports, and that extends from the professionals to the youth ranks. Warwick Fire Fighters Soccer Club president Doyle Bird has issued the Coronavirus Footskill Video Challenge to his membership in an attempt to fill the void. An email sent to club parents and players asked for postings of the best tricks to a public Facebook page.
“This day and age, communication is not the detriment it used to be,” Bird said. “With a single email — and I sent out several today to the club — you can reach 1,000 people.”
Bird’s idea stemmed from a US Youth Soccer initiative involving video challenges. There won’t be much in the way of on-field action for the foreseeable future. WFFSC and other clubs have seen their spring tournament season canceled through at least the next month or so.
“I’m sure the kids are all busting each other’s chops about their videos that are out there, and they’re challenging each other,” Bird said. “I don’t talk or text very much, but the kids are just constantly online talking to each other and communicating.”
Some of those clips might find their way into a local sportscast. WJAR-TV anchor and reporter Joe Kayata has been soliciting submissions from viewers since last weekend in an attempt to fill his nightly program block. NFL free agency and Tom Brady leaving the Patriots for Tampa Bay has helped Kayata keep things moving, but that won’t cover an entire three-minute segment.
“I knew it was going to be a wild week ahead,” Kayata said. “It was a way for people to have fun and put a smile on some faces.”
Kayata pitched the idea to sports director Frank Carpano, who signed off immediately. The steady stream of long-distance basketball shots from across the street and more has helped fill the void of a landscape with no NBA, no NHL and the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics.
“That first night when everything was canceled I was like, ‘What are we going to do to fill?’” Kayata said. “Then in the back of your mind you’re like, ‘Okay, let’s get a little creative here.’”
On Twitter: @BillKoch25