As of November, COVID cases have been rising in a number of states. Recently California numbers began spiking, reaching some of the highest infection rates since March, or so they say.
Many athletes now in California are nervous they will not get the opportunity to play. Professional and college teams currently in season are being forced to find new locations to practice due to the shutdown of their county. In fact, just last week Santa Clara county decided to go on lockdown, and this meant no sports could meet to practice together. The order specifically states, “all recreational activities that involve physical contact or close proximity to persons outside one's household, including all contact sports, will be temporarily prohibited.” This order has affected Stanford, San Jose State and the San Francisco 49ers. Now these teams are looking for new facilities and places to train during these difficult times.
On December 3 the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) released a statement on the status of high school sports. The statement reads, “due to the continued surge in COVID-19 infections, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has postponed the issuance of its updated youth sports guidance. The CIF does not expect the CDPH will issue any guidance allowing for schools to return to full practice and competition until after January 1, 2021, at the earliest. Thus, all full practice and competition start dates are officially on hold until updated guidance is issued.”
These announcements have driven people over the edge. Just a few days prior high school students just a few days ago gathered in front of the Capitol in Sacramento and protested for a season. There were over two hundred student athletes and parents fighting for their children to return to sports. One student athlete present was Rocklin High School quarterback Richie Watts. He expressed the importance of sports needing to return not only because students love to play the game, but because sports teaches many valuable life lessons that you can not learn anywhere else.
Sports is one thing that a lot of people really love about life. Most kids grow up playing sports and to have that taken away hinders the growth process in a child's life. Part of growing up is learning from other people and finding important figures you can rely on that are not your parents. For many kids these figures are coaches. These coaches help to provide advice, motivation, and life lessons that are used throughout the child's existence. Without the opportunity to play sports, children may not get to learn those lessons. Social and emotional development skills do not have the opportunity to fully develop and communication skills are hindered. Most importantly they do not get to face those challenges that push someone to mature and grow into a leader and a true friend and teammate.
If California does not allow for sports to return you are going to see many students develop depression and anxiety, and you are going to see a delay of growth in kids from California in comparison to kids in other states. Not to mention that many people will be deciding to move out of the state, which will greatly impact California’s weight in Congress that its politicians so deeply care about. So it is up to you, California and Governor Newsom. Do you want to withhold children from valuable growth and vital experiences? Or do you want to lose a strong population of people because of some selfish need to demonstrate a strong personal power? It is your choice Governor.