Swimmers aren’t the type of athletes that get into fights all the time. We’re a fairly civilized breed of athletes so to speak, but mess with our swim meets and it’ll get ugly. The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Assosiation (MIAA) cancelled their Sectional meets this weekend due to the huge snowstorm. Swimmers all over Massachusetts are not happy and are taking all the energy they have from their tapers and putting it into fighting this cancellation.
Sarah Breland took her anger to twitter and formed the “Bring Back MA Sec” twitter account (@bringbackMAsec). Breland tried to contact the MIAA herself but was shocked when she received a cold reply.
“I had directly emailed the MIAA with my story this morning,” Breland recounted. “Moments later I got an automatic response basically stating that they don’t care about the parents or athlete’s emails. They said that they only want to hear from Principals and Athletic Directors; both of mine had emailed them.”
Swimmers like Breland have been fighting and getting some high level support from the likes of American Olympians Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin, Conor Dwyer, Allison Schmitt, and Katie Ledecky on twitter. Partly from their support the MIAA has decided to reinstate the West sectional meet, great news for the west swimmers but the east swimmers are still fighting for their right to swim.
Simon Rogers has been swimming for Malden High School for three years and as a senior, this meet would have been his last sectionals ever. Unfortunately Rogers was told by his highschool coach that he and his team wouldn’t have a chance to compete at the meet, and that it was cancelled for good. Rogers said, “It was devastating to hear that we had worked so hard all season for this, and now it wasn’t going to happen. The meet was not postponed like some events for other sports, so swimmers on my team who had made times that allowed them to swim in Massachusetts sectionals but not for states would have nothing to go to now, their season was essentially over.”
Take a minute to remember your swimming days. Imagine you trained all your life for one meet, one chance, envisioned it all your life and then one day it was cancelled. For swimmers like Simon Rogers, unless this meet is reinstated, it might mean the end of their swimming careers.
I urge the swimmers to continue their fight to the right to swim, and as swimmers we know that they’ll fight until that last inch.