In keeping us apart for so long, the pandemic has driven home how important the connections are that we share between one another as part of one big Team Ausome – between our athletes, families, coaches, volunteers, supporters, board and staff.
The power of those Ausome connections was on full display this summer as we finally got the chance to play, sweat and laugh together again in programs on the field, on the water and on the trails!
Something special happens when you pull on that Ausome t-shirt and are surrounded by others who are also sporting the iconic star. You instantly feel part of a team. We asked various members of Team Ausome to share in their own words what it has meant to them to reconnect with teammates in person.
For Ausome athlete Bryson, it’s been “so good to see old friends again.” And for mom Christina, it “has brought the sense of community flooding back to our lives again. A community who understands, cares and supports each other unconditionally.”
“For our family, returning to in-person programming was such a breath of fresh air, literally, and the chance to form and renew connections,” said Ausome mom Shannon. Ausome dad Morad highlighted how his son “takes advantage of the social interactions and the physical activity. He looks forward to the in-person sessions and feels better afterwards.”
It’s not just our athletes and families who are feeling the power of those reconnections either. Ausome Volunteer Zain “felt a sense of normalcy getting to see everyone’s smiling faces once again.” And all summer program staff member Vanessa has repeatedly said “watching the kids reconnect with each other in person has been the highlight of my week.”
There is indistinguishable energy at Ausome in-person programs that bonds athletes, parents, coaches, volunteers, and staff. Coach Andrea remarked on the athletes’ “energy when they were together, safely enjoying the sport they love.” And program staff member Alyssa says, “I had really missed the contagious energy in the air.”
For Ausome’s volunteers who came aboard during the pandemic and have been supporting our athletes in virtual programs, the return of in-person has meant meeting other members of Team Ausome for the VERY FIRST TIME.
Our live and on-demand virtual programs have been a blessing for many of our athletes as a way to maintain a routine while staying active and connected. But as coach Quinn noted, “there really is nothing like seeing our athletes laugh and engage with each other through in-person sports.”
“Running in-person programs again has been so refreshing,” said program staff member Kayla. “Getting a chance to see our athletes mask to mask and chat with families like we used to bring a sense of normality. It reminds me how important our programs are to our community. We’re getting back to normal, one program at a time!”
This summer has been a welcome reminder of how powerful and meaningful these connections are that we all share. Whether you’re an Ausome athlete, parent, coach, volunteer, supporter, board or staff member, you are part of something bigger on and off the field of play.
Ausome Ottawa wishes to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Jumpstart Charities, the MATT Foundation and all of our other amazing donors for their generous support in keeping Team Ausome playing, sweating and laughing together this summer.