Souderton aquatics attempts new virtual banquet

Due to the pandemic, the end of the season was unexpected by many of the winter sport teams. To get an official close to the season the swim and dive team had an online celebration instead of their regular banquet to end the season.

Organized by coaches and parents, Souderton swim and dive team held an online banquet on May 20th from their own homes, to officially close the season that was interrupted by the pandemic.
“A group of five of us got together with the idea of the virtual banquet,” head swim coach Lou Williams said.
The new way of doing the banquet was similar to the past, but the banquet would be not in person. “I took the agenda from the previous year and we did pretty much the same thing,” Williams said.
The banquet received positive feedback from coaches, athletes and families.
“I think that it was an awesome idea and Lou Williams and all the people who helped did an incredible job,” athletic director Dennis Stanton said.
In person banquets normally last around three hours. In the banquet coaches would talk about all of their athletes, no matter what class they are in.
“Because of not wanting to make it three hours long, we only talked specifically about the people who won awards or the seniors, so cutting out talking about each class individually was the biggest difference,” Williams said.
Not having the banquet be in person changed the way it was done but it also changed the feeling of it.
“I think that it definitely brought the team morale down a little because I think the team was the tightest knit it’s ever been since I’ve been swimming,” senior Austin Graham said.
Not being able to see teammates and friends in person really changed the way people felt, but the banquet was able to bring them together.
“If we were able to have a real and in person banquet then that is certainly better, but if there is no opportunity to have one then there is not a downside to having one online,” Stanton said.
“Any type of interaction is good interaction at this point. You can text your friends and talk on the phone but seeing them and being in an environment that is connected through the team I think is very beneficial,” Stanton said.
Feedback is very positive and even though it’s not in person it is still good to be able to see the team.
“I think that it was great that we were able to at least see each other even though it was in zoom and everybody was in little tiles, we were all seeing each other at least virtually,” Williams said.
There is some online contact outside of the banquet, but it is limited and not everybody is available so not everybody can interact with their team.
“I think that it is good to keep the team social with one another because that makes swimming so much more enjoyable when you can call your teammates your friends,” Graham said.
Although not everybody can always talk with their team this was an opportunity for that to happen.
“I see the swimmers and the divers pretty regularly, and the coaches too, but I have not seen any of the parents but I think it’s good because it’s a visual medium and that we were able to see everybody,” Williams said.