Through the last several months, the Mid-Atlantic Division Board and Competitions Control Committee (CCC) has held regular meetings to evaluate the status of the Mid-Atlantic and ensure a safe return to play, when appropriate, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CCC most recently met on June 6, 2020 and made the difficult, but necessary, decision to postpone official competition through the months of July and August. Because the region continues to implement a phased approach to reopening, the division will continue to seek safe opportunities for modified competition and referee upskilling beginning with the teams in the southernmost part of the division as these areas are two weeks ahead of the northern region in lifting gathering restrictions. As the region continues to periodically evaluate reopening announcements, the CCC and the Division Board will continue to evaluate new realities. Given that play has been suspended through the end of August, the CCC is drafting a modified competitive schedule to commence division-wide competition following Labor Day and running through November.
As the division prepares for a Fall season, I’d be remiss if I did not mention the impact the loss of the physical gatherings in the GAA community these past few months has had on many of us. Practicing responsible and necessary social distancing to protect our safety and that of our loved ones has meant missed practices, pints, and craic. By this point in the season, we’d be entering our final weeks of games in preparation for finals. Attending finals has become a staple of the USGAA, a culmination of a summer’s of hard work, an opportunity to see friends from across the states, listen to good music, and enjoy the company of a community that has become an extended family for many of us. Though we will not gather at finals this year, we will get back out on the pitch in 2020.
When Mid-Atlantic competition resumes, I want to send a reminder that in this division, ALL are welcome. The GAA is a place that celebrates the shared values of all the people who comprise our wonderful community – a place Where We All Belong. I echo that statement as a reminder of what we stand for as a community. To that end, I want to explicitly state that all people, irrespective of the color of their skin, age, gender, the country where they were born, or the person they love are integral parts of our GAA family. Our community is so strong because we are diverse in background, employment, belief, and skill set.
As long as I have the privilege to serve as chairperson of this division, I pledge to ensure each member of this division feels welcomed and included and address any situation that do not uphold the values of our community. I urge each and every club, player, referee and supporter to do the same, as we are stronger together.
I extend my deepest gratitude for the patience and cooperation you all have exhibited during this unprecedented time. When we return to play, I look forward to our shared reunions and ensuring the Mid-Atlantic Division continues to be a place Where We All Belong.
Chairperson, Mid-Atlantic Division GAA