Blades for the Brave logo 2020

FRIDAY NIGHT: Champion Figure Skaters, Including Dorothy Hamill, Michelle Kwan in Benefit Event for Health Workers

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Update, Friday, April 17 — Figure skating legend Dorothy Hamill and two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan are joining the biggest names in figure skating this Friday, April 17, for a livestream benefit event supporting Americares response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Japanese champions Miki Ando, Shizuka Arakawa, Yuka Sato and Fumie Suguri have also joined the roster of skating stars raising funds for Americares COVID-19 relief, along with three-time Olympian Todd Eldredge and World Champion pairs skating team Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner. The special one-hour “Blades for the Brave” livestream hosted by Jason Brown and Gracie Gold, will air on, Americares Facebook and Twitter feeds and on its YouTube channel at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PT. Viewers can support Americares COVID-19 response by making a donation on or by texting “BRAVE” to 80100 to make a $25 donation. Original article, April 7:

Olympic and World Champion figure skaters are coming together to help health workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic with a special fundraising event on Friday, April 17.

Olivia Hoyda Trinity Field Hockey

Olivia Hoyda of Darien Honored by Two Athletic Organizations for Field Hockey, Academics at Trinity College

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Trinity College senior Olivia Hoyda of Darien is one of five members of the Bantam field hockey team named to the the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Fall All-Academic Team and one of 10 of the college’s players on a similar national team. — an announcement from Trinity College

Hoyda, the daughter of Christine Stark and Brad Hoyda, played on the Darien High School field hockey team. She is majoring in economics at Trinity. In this past season at Trinity, Hoyda played in 11 games with four starts as a defender and a midfielder, finishing her Bantam career with one assist and three defensive saves in 48 games. New England Award
To be named to the NESCAC team, an individual must have reached sophomore academic standing, and be in good standing in their sport with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50 or equivalent on a 4.0 scale.

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First Selectman Bans Use of Public Baseball/Softball Fields in Town and Vehicles at Darien High

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Darien High School is shut off to all traffic, other than for COVID-19 testing, “in order to eliminate the public from gathering in a manner that risks the spread of COVID-19 within our community,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson declared in a late Friday afternoon proclamation. Also, all public baseball and softball fields in town, both those at town parks and schools, along with the batting cages at McGuane Park “are hereby ordered closed,” the proclamation states. The order banning vehicles only applies to Darien High School and is not “applicable to the other schools within the district until it becomes necessary to do so,” the proclamation states. The order takes effect immediately and “shall remain in effect for the duration of the emergency unless earlier modified by the Chief Executive Officer,” the proclamation said. “[T]here is a need to eliminate public gatherings at Darien High School and elsewhere so as to eliminate the possible risks of the spread of COVID-19,” Stevenson says in the proclamation.

DJFH Darien Junior Field Hockey starts

New Darien Junior Field Hockey Program Announced for Grades 1 Thru 8, Begins This Fall

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Members of the Darien community announced today the formation of Darien Junior Field Hockey (DJFH), a new youth field hockey program beginning in the Fall of 2020. Registration is open now. — an announcement from Darien Junior Field Hockey

The all-new program will be developed and directed by former Darien High School Freshman Coach Wynne Lennon. “My motto has always been ‘If you’re not having fun, then why do it?’,” Lennon said. “I am eager to bring this philosophy, along with my passion for the game, to Darien’s youth.”

DJFH will also be supported by celebrated Darien High School Varsity Coach Mo Minicus, and Junior Varsity Coach Kari Johns.

Darien High School fields building

Winter End-of-Season Sports Banquets Postponed Due to COVID-19 Concerns

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Darien High School banquets for end-of-season winter sports teams are being “postponed,” DHS Athletic Director Chris Manfredonia told coaches in an email Wednesday morning. The postponement comes in response to a just-issued school district rule banning gatherings of 100 or more people at school-related events, but it even covers banquets where less than 100 people are expected, Manfredonia said. “While I understand that some banquets may be less 100 than people, it will become nearly impossible to monitor those numbers,” he said in the 9:13 a.m. email. “We are hopeful that in the future, your teams will be able to celebrate their seasons.” DHS Assistant Principal Katherine Dimoulas, in a 11:18 a.m. email addressed to the “Class of 2020” made a similar announcement:

“[W]e are postponing the 100 Day Dinner Celebration; we hope to be able to reschedule for a later date in the school year,” she wrote.

Will Sarbinowski Greens Farms Academy Squash

Darien Players in Greens Farms Academy Sports Dispatches: Feb 27

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The Greens Farms Academy squash programs to compete on the national level last week, with some Darien residents stepping up in a big way. — an announcement from Greens Farms Academy
Here’s a rundown of what happened:

It was a weekend of growth, both figurative and literal, as the Greens Farms Academy boys squash team placed sixth in the 2020 US Squash Division IV High School National Championship tournament. The Dragons—a team that boasts just one senior and two middle schoolers amongst its top seven—were seeded eighth in the 16-team tier. They lost twice in the tourney—once to the eventual national Div. IV champ and once to the top-seeded team.

Darien Gymnasts Beat the Odds At FCIAC Meet

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Not every gymnastics team qualified for the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference this year, but Darien did — barely. Heading into the Feb. 15 championship meet at Stamford’s Westhill High School, the Blue Wave was seeded seventh out of seven high schools, county-wide. When the chalk dust settled, though, Darien had nudged ahead of Staples, 125.05, with a 127.4 score that bumped the Wave to sixth place. — This article was written by Holly Russell on behalf of the Darien High School girls gymnastics team. 

Darien Head Coach Judy Zakim was pleased with her team’s jump in FCIAC standings.

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Darien Players in Greens Farms Academy Sports Dispatches: Feb 20

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Darien players helped Greens Farms Academy girls squash and boys basketball teams to these wins last week:

— an announcement from Greens Farms Academy
The GFA squash team placed fifth at the FAA championship tournament after topping St. Luke’s by a 5-2 score early last week. After losing in the top two slots, GFA swept the remaining matches to post the win. Ryan Boyle (Southport) won in four sets (11-8, 14-12, 6-11, 11-7), Kavya Krishnamurthy (Westport) won in four sets (11-3, 9-11, 11-2, 11-6) and Anya Bettegowda (Wilton), Annabelle Kreitler (Fairfield) and Keely O’Shea (Darien) won in straight sets. BOYS BASKETBALL
The Dragons went 1-2 last week notching a win early in the week before falling twice at home.

After Wilton Washout, Blue Wave Gymnasts Take Second at Home

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A mixed bag of meets this week put Darien gymnasts in the middle of the pack heading into FCIACs this coming Saturday, Feb. 15, but as Coach Judy Zakim said in an email, “I have every reason to believe that we will qualify.”
If the team does (when it does), the return of co-captain Kerry McDermott, injury-free, is sure to help, and morale is great, as usual. — This article, by Holly Russell, is from the team. On Tuesday
Battling Wilton on Tuesday, Feb. 4, Darien fought but not hard enough, taking home a 128.55 to the Warrior’s 136.3 despite some personal successes by the team.

Darien Gymnastics Lucy Collins by Louise Schmidt

Blue Wave Gymnasts Bounce Back From Stamford Loss To Win in Greenwich

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The Darien High School Girls Gymnastics Team didn’t win against Westhill High in Stamford at a meet there on Jan. 28, but two days later it recaptured its momentum against Greenwich. — This article, by Holly Russell, is from the team. “We’re working on a positive mindset. It’s been a tired day,” co-captain Lana Schmidt said at Westhill after a week of midterm exams.

The team trailed Westhill 124.55 to 128.8.

Olivia Perkins gymnastics

Darien High School Gymnasts Place Third Twice This Week But Find Their Feet

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Darien gymnasts may have placed third in both their meets this week — but with overall scores of 130.9 at Trumbull and 131.5 at Saturday’s home meet, they still emerged victorious. The team went up against St. Joseph High School and Trumbull High School a week ago Monday. Last Saturday they competed against Fairfield Warde and Fairfield Ludlowe. — This article, by Holly Russell, is from the team.

Ox Ridge Riding and Racquet Club Ox Ridge Open 2020

Ox Ridge Open Professional Doubles Squash Tournament, Jan 3 to 6

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The best squash players in the world will be at the 2020 Ox Ridge Open professional  doubles squash event from Jan 3 to 6 at the Ox Ridge Riding & Racquet Club. The total purse for the event is $25,000. — an announcement from Ox Ridge Riding & Racquet Club

Ox Ridge will be raising the funds through different levels of patronage, and sponsors, which range from playing in the pro/am tournament with a world class professional to custom branding opportunities for businesses. Player opportunities in the pro-am  will be limited, so be sure to reach out to if you wish to compete. We are also offering a pro-am tournament for youth players who would participate in a junior pro-am.

Darien YMCA gymnastics team Rhode Island meet

Darien YMCA Gymnastics Team Shines at Rhode Island Invitational

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The Darien YMCA Gymnastics Team achieved 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-place rankings in various levels at the Rhode Island Invitational earlier this month. — an announcement from Darien YMCA
The Level 6 Gymnasts finished in 1st place, Level 8 finished 3rd and Level 9 finished 2nd. The team also had four All-Around Champions and 13 Event Champions. Results and photos provided by John Swartz, Darien YMCA gymnastics director.

CIAC Football Playoff Game in Darien Postponed to Wednesday, Police Issue Advisory, Announce Shuttle Service

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Due to the continuing forecast of inclement weather and a need to allow host schools adequate time to prepare their facilities, the CIAC football quarterfinal games scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 3 have all been rescheduled to Wednesday, Dec. 4. Game times will remain at 6:30 p.m. All quarterfinals are scheduled for the site of the higher seeded team.  — This update of an article that originally was published Sunday is an announcement from the CIAC

As a result of the rescheduling and a need to allow adequate rest between football postseason games, the semifinal games scheduled for Sunday, Dec.

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Come Learn More About At Home In Darien at Its Annual Meeting, 11 AM, Tuesday in Darien Library

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The public is invited to attend and learn more about At Home In Darien and its services at the organization’s annual meeting, held on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. at Darien Library. All are welcome! — an announcement from At Home In Darien

In honor of At Home In Darien’s 10th anniversary, there will be a special panel discussion with staff, drivers, board members, volunteers, and seniors. Learn first-hand how At Home In Darien fulfills its mission of keeping seniors connected to the community with the help of these dedicated individuals.