As a recent graduate and professional tennis player at Columbus State University, Matei Avram’s summer plans drastically changed due to COVID-19. “My plan for the summer was to play some tennis tournaments, visit my home in Romania, and work at CSU’s summer tennis camps”, Avram says sharing his former plans for after graduation this past May.
In his last semester, naturally, Avram had less time for tennis with graduation ahead. Before the pandemic, his schedule consisted of conditioning in the morning, with tennis and school taking up most of his afternoon.
“Before COVID-19, my daily schedule was mostly tennis and school. I would have a 6 a.m. gym session every Tuesday and Thursday, classes all morning, conditioning and footwork from 1:00-1:30 p.m., tennis practice from 1:30- 4:00 p.m. and one class in the afternoon. My day would finish with another hour and a half of study”, says Avram, recounting his daily schedule prior to COVID-19.
With universities and tennis courts across the country closed due to the pandemic, the tennis season was shortened and Avram spent the last half of his final semester in his apartment working on school assignments and studying for exams.
“As a result of the current situation our season was cut short, but we still played a lot of matches including the first every ITA Indoor Nationals which we won,” said Avram.
In light of the rigorous schedule of a student athlete in his last semester, Avram had many plans after graduation that were affected by the pandemic. Some of which included returning home and playing in his tennis club and tournaments until his flights were cancelled and matches postponed due COVID-19.
“My plan was actually to play some tennis tournaments during the summer but unfortunately, the professional tournaments are cancelled until August. I was planning on going to my home country Romania to spend time with my family and practice in my tennis club. Unfortunately, my flights were cancelled two different times and I found myself unable to go home. Luckily, I managed to find a flight in mid-June” said Avram.
As an international student Avram is limited to working only on campus, allowing for him to work for CSU sports camps and clinics.
“The summer tennis camps are offered every summer by CSU’s tennis coach. There are usually many CSU tennis players that choose to stay over the summer and be a part of those summer camps. I worked the summer camps in 2018 and it was a great experience because a lot of kids participated and I enjoy teaching tennis and seeing how the players improve over the summer,” Avram said, explaining CSU’s summer camps and his work there in the past.
With the recent re-openings of businesses in Columbus and surrounding areas, Avram hopes that CSU’s summer tennis camp will go on, allowing for his employment alongside his other teammates.