Earlier in the spring of 2020, the Islander Sports foundation named Kristen Guymon as the new Athletic Director at Coronado Middle School. Under normal circumstances being an athletic director, at any level, is strenuous enough. But when faced with a global pandemic, Guymon had more than just an athletic director’s traditional difficulties.
“Honestly, since I took over while the pandemic was going on, it’s not as if I had to adjust anything that was going on. So I knew I had a clean slate since I knew we would be unable to do competitive sports during the fall season. And with that in mind, we decided it would be best to take advantage of the day camp initiative set forth by the state.”
The day camp initiative that Guymon is referring to is a guideline from the state that allows for gathering small groups, at the most ten people, to continue to practice their respective sports. Essentially a small bubble. And to Guymon, these day camps provide an opportunity for students to play and try new sports for the first time. “It allows kids to try a new sport, like say volleyball, for example. These small day camps are a great opportunity for kids to learn the basic skills, rules, and fundamentals of the sport and could even help create and grow new passions for students.”
Under Guymon, Coronado Middle School has also started to provide students with sports that normally aren’t offered, such as off-road and mountain biking, hiking, and running clubs. “These new sports were another great opportunity for kids to try something new and different.” Said Guymon. “Take our bike club, for example. We partnered with Hollands Bicycles, and along with teaching the kids skills for both road and mountain biking, the coaches also show them things such as how to replace a tire, how to fix a bike chain, and other bike safety information as well.”
Another unique addition to the winter and spring sports was a sports performance enhancement team, which is more geared towards improving young athletes’ skills such as agility, stamina, and physical technique. For Guymon, implementing these new sports has been extremely helpful in making sure that students can stay active. “While these new additions may not be a competitive sport, it has given me the chance to get as many kids involved and active as possible, which is always a huge priority for me.” And it appears this goal of keeping students active and playing sports is being met. According to Guymon, winter and fall sport/camp signups are still as high as years previous, primarily due to the aforementioned new sports provided to the students of Coronado Middle School.
Guymon attributes the continued turn out to CMS and its coaches’ commitment to safety. As to Guymon, her students’ safety and health have taken the front seat since the start. “I’m in constant contact with all of my coaches and go to the respective practice sites each day. Each Coach is given a PPE kit and makes sure the students arrive with masks and take their temperatures daily. Each of our coaches is very aware of the COVID-19 regulations and understands how important our students’ safety is.”
When Coronado Middle School competitive games will return is still unclear. However, when they return, it will be a decision made by those here in Coronado and the Islander Sports Foundation. “I think the situation will be a very fluid one. I think we’ll trail any CIF decision in about three months as we’ll have to see how things play out for the high school. We may also run into field scheduling conflicts with the high school. Still, me and Coronado High School Athletic director Robin Nixon have worked closely and believe that we can figure scheduling issues out if they arise.”
In closing, I asked Guymon what she had taken away from her first few months as the Coronado Middle School director. Her answer was simple: the joy that sports seem to have brought the students “For me, every time I go back to either the high school or middle school fields, and I see our students out there being able to play and enjoy sports they love in a safe environment, I just smile.”