Extracurricular activities proceed during the pandemic


Sofia Sodini

Swimming, one of the many extracurricular activities taking place at Burlingame, has begun with safety precautions.

Kristie Kim, Social Coordinator

Burlingame students were recently granted permission to participate in select sports on campus, while other extracurricular activities proceed on Zoom. As of the beginning of February, sports sign-ups and practices for outdoor sports started, including football, girls tennis, boys and girls swimming, girls volleyball, girls golf, boys baseball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls soccer. 


Sophomore Natalie Sullivan Wu is a member of the swim team again this year after her freshman year season was cut short. Given the current circumstances of the pandemic, sports are continuing with some adjustments.


“[There are] a lot more precautions, but that goes for any sport, and [there are] no more meets. Other than that it’s pretty much the same [as last year], doing the same exercises,” Sullivan Wu said.


As bizarre as the year has been, athletes are finally beginning to feel a little less confined. Although the swimmers are not allowed to hang out on the pool deck, Sullivan Wu highlights how nice it is to see familiar faces.


“Because we’ve all gotten tested, we’re all pretty safe. I think the circumstances suck, but [the school and swim staff] have done a good job of making sure everyone is safe, and we all still get a little social interaction,” Sullivan Wu said. 


Sophomore Ellie Neuman is a cross country runner who also participated in the sport last year. 


“[Cross country] is a pretty big priority because it’s kind of my chance to get out of the house and see other people and move around,” Neuman said. “I find that it’s very freeing when I’m cooped up on Zoom all day, so I really prioritize sports.”


In regards to safety while running, Neuman feels safe as there are different procedures that have been put in place with masks.


“In cross country, you’re wearing masks when you’re not running on the track,” Neuman said. “They just gave us the okay to pull down our masks while we’re running, but a lot of people put it up anyways.” 


Junior Laurel Brown is an active participant in Burlingame’s drama programs, in both the class and the club. Brown has taken part in numerous of the school’s productions and is passionate about theater. Even though the conditions may not be favorable, she maintains a positive attitude towards the progress of the drama class and the club.


“Obviously, we can’t do anything in person, so everything has completely changed,” Brown said. “We haven’t been able to do a regular production, but we’re actually going to do a musical this year online, which has been super fun.” 


Brown enjoys spending time with other Burlingame thespians because they have all been supportive and continue to be creative, even through screens.


“We’re doing everything we can,” Brown said. “Everybody involved, from our crew to our cast, everybody has been really great at trying to bring some of that theater magic back to the community.”


Senior Ruby Lawrence is also part of the drama class and club, and she has been doing shows throughout her time in high school. She said the shift between last year and this year’s way of functioning in class, clubs and productions has been big. 


“We used to do a physical warm up at the beginning of class and then everything happens on the stage. We rarely [sat] down for a whole period, so it’s a major change in the way the class operates,” Lawrence said. 


Another activity that has been proceeding over Zoom is robotics. Senior Sydney Woo is a co-captain of the Iron Panthers and wants to get the club back on campus when it is safe.


“I think Ms. Wade — our team coach — is working on getting the robotics team on the same tier as the sports team, so hopefully we’ll be able to meet in person in the next week or two,” Woo said. 


As a club leader, Woo has some thoughts and expectations in mind for the robotics team.


“We’re not really [sure of] what our competition is going to be like, so I’m kind of curious to see how far we’re going to go in that aspect,” Woo said. “I’m also curious to see how much the underclassmen, how much the juniors, are going to step up this semester.”


Senior Cherilyn Yu is also part of the robotics team. She has participated in the club for all four years of her time at Burlingame, and like other clubs, she noticed different changes that have occurred due to the pandemic and distance learning. 


“We’ve made a lot more adjustments, at least during the pandemic,” Yu said. “We’ve shifted our focus to really value equality, making sure everyone has the same skills and equity with all the training and being respectful.”