AU Tennis Players Return Home to Bermuda to Wait Out the Pandemic

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

By: Jake Malone


For Luke Stirling, a junior on Adelphi’s tennis team, getting back to his home in Bermuda is never a simple task. When COVID-19 struck our country, all Adelphi students were forced out of their dorm rooms, as classes were to be conducted online for the rest of the year. The prospect of moving all your belongings and getting everything back home was an unexpected challenge for all residents.


The news was especially difficult to handle for Stirling because he was on spring break when he found out.


“I was actually skiing in Colorado with my family when I heard the campus would be closing for the year,” Stirling said. “They even closed down the resort I was staying in halfway through my trip. My family and I had to pack up everything and leave in one night.”


The Stirlings were in a panic: rescheduling flights back to New York and Bermuda, canceling hotel rooms, dealing with returning their rental car and ski gear and trying to get a refund for everything.


“We managed to make it back to New York where I had to move out from Adelphi,” he said.

If that weren’t enough, the Stirlings’ flights back to Bermuda got canceled. They eventually were able to get seats on the last flight out.


While that week was an especially stressful time for Stirling and his family, the past few weeks have certainly been a change of pace.


“Back home we are also in a strict lockdown period. You can only leave to go to the store, doctor or gas station. You can leave your property once a day for exercise for an hour, but you can’t go more than half a mile away from your house,” Stirling said.


At the time this article was written, the island had seen about 30 cases and two deaths.


David Leader, a 2015 state champion at his prep school in Florida, is a junior on the AU

tennis team who is now looking forward to his next spring season on the courts.


David Leader is another junior on the team and a good friend of Stirling’s. Fortunately, he was able to get on a flight back to Bermuda rather easily. The only difficult task for him was finding a way to get his belongings back home.


“I took as much as I could back home with me on the plane, but most of my stuff is at my girlfriend’s house on Long Island,” he said.


Luckily for these two players, who still have unfinished business on the court, they will be returning for their senior year.


When asked what his biggest disappointment was about this season, Leader said: “As much as I was looking forward to this season, and as much as I am disappointed about having this year canceled, I am way more upset that the seniors ended their season this way. Some of them never even knew it was their last match they played.”


Stirling shared his concerns for new players. “The biggest disappointment of the season is that we have a lot of new players that joined the team, so overall the team was fresh and it felt like a new start, but that was ruined. The bright side is that we ended the season undefeated in our conference at 1-0.”


Both players are extremely motivated and excited to come back to school in the fall.


“I am most looking forward to seeing all my friends as it will have been six months since I last saw them and resuming my tennis season at Adelphi will keep me motivated all break,” said Stirling.


Leader added that he’s most excited about seeing his friends and teammates next year “and catching up on what everyone has been doing since I last saw them.”


Luke Stirling was an NE 10 All-Conference The men’s tennis team will look to

Third Team player during the 2018-'19 season. improve with a roster full of young

Photo courtesy of AU Athletics and talented players for the 2020-'21

season.


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