Name: Fernando Braz
Sport: Boys and Girls XC Coordinator
How would you describe the past few months of the current social distancing, pandemic era? The confirmation of school closure brought sadness and disappointment with the realization seniors were going to miss a very important phase of their high school tenure. The pandemic has been an educational, philosophical and adaptation challenge for me. The Pandemic presented a few options, to do nothing or find a way to move forward with a safe and productive model utilizing the progressive state and community health guidelines
You mentioned that you have been able to do the Peabody speed camp again this summer; what has that been like this year in comparison to past years? The GTD summer program has brought, although limited, a sense of normalcy to all involved. We are fortunate that the programs model, according to state sports guidelines, falls under the lower risk sport activity level. This year has been unlike any previous summers but I can say, without hesitation, the most exhilarating and satisfying program because of the energetic cooperating village of staff, participants and parent efforts to assure safety to all.
Cross country is one of those sports that appears to be safe enough to carry out in some capacity during the pandemic. If Peabody does end up having a fall season, what are your expectations for the team? Cross Country is fortunate to be on the “low risk” model for fall sports. How it is going to look with forthcoming guidelines I am not sure but the staff and I are confident and excited about the opportunity as we’ve spent months of studying and researching. As for the team, the philosophy will be to work hard and prepare, to compete at every single opportunity and peak at championship season.
Have you learned anything new about yourself during the pandemic? Through this period I have learned that the pandemic can be an “easy pass and accepted reason” to stand pat and not do anything. It has challenged me to educate myself so I can confidently move forward now and in the future with the necessary adaptations and changes.
Finally, where is your favorite spot to vacation? My favorite vacation spot – North Conway – Route 16 North “don’t look back!!!"
-- As told to Nick Giannino