oday, Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) sent a letter to the Governor requesting the California Department of Public Health draft reopening guidance for youth sports leagues.
In his letter, Cunningham (a youth sports coach himself) makes the case that bringing back youth sports with the guidance of state and local public health officials would restore “some semblance of normalcy” into children’s lives. A number of reports have surfaced over the past several weeks outlining the negative mental health impacts the cancellation of school and social activities has had on children. Youth sports could provide the social, physical, and emotional outlet that children need at this time.
Cunningham also believes that allowing for youth sports to restart is consistent with the Governor’s already-existing guidelines.
“Responsibly reopening youth sports is consistent with your administration’s recent orders that allow for professional sports to start back up. Youth sports are not played in front of large crowds, and most can be played outdoors with ample room for parents to social distance,” states the letter. “Adults and kids alike have been allowed to pack into grocery stores and big-box retail locations for months – our kids should be allowed to play on a soccer field.”
Cunningham’s letter also points to a new COVID-19 study out of the Netherlands, which found that children play virtually no role in spreading the virus – either to other children or adults.
“Our kids are our future. Their mental and physical health is too important to keep them on the sidelines indefinitely. The science suggests very little risk, which risk can be mitigated,” the letter concludes. “It is for these reasons that I respectfully request that the state permit local jurisdictions to allow youth sports leagues to safely resume activity with proper health guidance.”