The words dedication and commitment are often associated with a person’s devotion to a particular calling or interest, especially when they are successful at the venture.
These two words have special meaning in the Colorado Academy Athletic Department during a worldwide pandemic. All of our coaches and teachers are dedicated and committed to providing the best experience possible for our athletes, regardless of their ability level or the situation. But Field Hockey Coach Veronica Scott, whose team won the state championship last fall in a dramatic 2-1 victory over Regis High School, set a new standard for dedication and commitment as she battled a series of hurdles to return to CA this fall from halfway around the world.
Even though this is Coach Scott’s seventh year leading the Field Hockey program—during which CA celebrated three state championships—many people don’t know that she spends the majority of the year living in her native Australia. So as Field Hockey season approached, she geared up her offense to get back to the United States and CA—no easy task during a pandemic.
The long, uncertain journey
Step one—with support from Human Resources Manager Julie Fordyce and CFO Alanna Brown, Scott was able to secure a visa to enter the United States. Step two—she then had to navigate Australian bureaucracy and receive permission to leave her home country. Step three—she had to secure a flight from Australia to Denver, something that isn’t extremely common these days. Scott received her visa and passport from the Australian government on the Friday before she was supposed to leave Sydney on a Sunday. When she stepped on the plane, she still did not have word whether CHSAA would permit a fall Field Hockey season, but she took a leap of faith and headed to Colorado.
On Monday, August 3, Scott arrived in Colorado, and the next day, CHSAA pushed the Field Hockey competitive season to spring, beginning March 1. Scott responded with characteristic optimism and good cheer: “We will conduct an unbelievable, responsible, health and safety conscious, fun and impactful, ‘off season’ this fall,” she said. “I hope to do CA and the girls proud.”
What an amazing statement that reflects Veronica’s dedication and commitment to our Field Hockey program, our students, and our community! It would have been so easy to get back on a plane to Australia or not even leave Australia in the first place, given the uncertainty of the season. I am humbled by Coach Scott’s actions and indebted to her for her focus on our Field Hockey program.
My hat is off to all of our teachers, coaches, and staff for diving in and making this fall the best possible scenario for our students and families. We are faced with a new set of challenges, but I’m confident that, much like Coach Scott, we will meet these challenges with a positive “we can do this” attitude. I look forward to seeing everybody back on campus soon. Mask up, and carry on, Mustangs!