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No Place to Play During the Pandemic
For sports fans, life has gotten better with the return of basketball, baseball, football, and soccer on TV over the past few months. However, for most kids in youth sports programs, things have changed little since March because they are still unable to practice or play with their peers and many sports facilities are still closed due to public health orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In this article, Kurt Streeter explains how the lack or absence of youth sports is devastating the lives of children, parents, coaches, and even entire communities. Streeter shares the story of father and coach Tyrone Riley, who is having a hard time finding places for his sons to practice and be active in the South Los Angeles community of Watts where recreation centers, gyms, and outdoor basketball courts remain off-limits.
The article also discusses the results of a survey by Aspen Institute concerning how youth sports had been impacted for families coping with the pandemic. The study reveals that American children ranging in age from six to 18 are playing far less now than before the outbreak. Overall, there has been a nearly 50 percent decrease.
Participation in youth sports offers many, well documented positive benefits. Unfortunately, most kids are unable to experience those benefits right now and this may have ramifications in the years to come.