More than 140 “Let Them Play, CA” rallies were held throughout the state on Friday, Jan. 15, to bring awareness to the need to re-open youth sports in California. Approximately 50 parents, coaches, teachers, and students from Trinity High School, Weaverville, and Douglas City gathered with masks on at the Bandstand on Main Street, with signs saying, “Let Them Play, CA” and “Bring Back Sports.”
This grassroots, statewide effort is to encourage students, parents, coaches and community members to reach out to our state leaders to express their support for competitions to restart. Almost 3 million young athletes in the state have been sidelined for over 10 months, while athletes in 40-plus states have had the opportunity to safely compete this school year.
Organizers are asking that sports be brought back for the students’ physical, mental, emotional and academic health. Athletics give students from high trauma homes a sense of belonging and access to coaches, both factors that effectively counteract the generational cycle of abuse. Students involved in extra-curricular activities have consistently higher GPAs, higher attendance rates, and develop sound job skills.
If you support a return to competition, organizers ask you to please reach out to Gov. Gavin Newsom, State Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Jim Wood. Ask them to remove California’s double standard that golf courses are open, but high school golf teams cannot compete; pools are open, but swim meets are not allowed; Mt. Shasta is open, but not for coaches and officials to regulate a competition.
If those venues are safe for the general public to use at will, organizers say, youth sports that are supervised by coaches, officials and sports organizations should be allowed to safely compete.