Stoneman Douglas tennis gamers hosted at Miami Open on March for Our Lives day
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — The girls and boys tennis groups at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College ended the March for Our Lives day of remembrance and activism by standing on stadium courtroom earlier than the evening session on the Miami Open, as match organizers hosted them to point out assist.
An enormous banner with the varsity‘s identify and emblem was unfurled, and Stoneman Douglas pupil Angelique Meneses sang the nationwide anthem. The Miami Open bought T-shirts to profit survivors of the mass taking pictures during which 17 college students and employees had been killed on Feb. 14.
“The resilience, power and resolve that you have proven because the taking pictures has been nothing in need of wonderful,” match director and former professional James Blake mentioned. “You’ve got captured the eye of not solely our nation, however the world. And you have discovered the power to make use of this horrible state of affairs as a automobile for social change. You’ve got impressed all of us by your actions and poise.”
Ladies coach Amelia Pena informed ESPN that the ceremony was a part of the “new regular” for her student-athletes, who’re looking for a steadiness between embracing the compassion of tens of millions of strangers and getting again to their routines.
The workforce has had remedy canines courtside for observe periods and matches. One opposing workforce offered the gamers with sunflowers earlier than they competed. One other gave them rubber bracelets with the phrases “Ceaselessly in our hearts.”
Pena, who can be the registrar on the college, mentioned she walked on courtroom to carry one participant when she broke down in the course of a latest match.
“We by no means know when a sound or a odor goes to set us off,” she mentioned of the lingering post-traumatic signs of many who survived the shootings.
A number of gamers mentioned that originally, even the sound of hanging the ball was troublesome to listen to.
“Everybody‘s job on the college is not what was of their job description,” Pena mentioned.
Altogether, 50 college students, members of the family and employees attended the match. Lots of them began their day at a march highlighting college security and gun violence points in Parkland, Florida, the place the varsity is positioned and about 50 miles away from this occasion.
Photos of the huge turnout at marches in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere “exhibits what an affect we have made on the entire world,” junior Alejandra Martinez mentioned. “It helps.” Considered one of their high gamers, Madison Leal, was in Washington with different teammates and classmates.