It’s time to let kids play ball again, and to allow their parents to attend their games, Murrayville resident Brent Larsen believes.
Larsen, a parent and coach, has organized an online petition pressing provincial heath officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to reconsider current COVID-19 restrictions that allow practicing, but not actual game play, and keep parents from watching because of spectator bans.
“We call them soccer players and baseball players and not soccer or baseball ‘practicers,” Larsen commented in a letter to Dr. Henry.
“As a proud B.C. resident and parent, I respectfully request that children sports competition opens up immediately.”
Spring leagues are now trying to set their schedules and the season is short, Larsen elaborated.
“Also short is youth playing careers. Sometimes (it’s) only two or three seasons and if they miss two years, that is huge.”
Larsen doubts games are more likely to spread the virus than practices.
“Why are parents/guardians not able to watch their kids outside, but they can go to a restaurant? From what I see and feel, public opinion is firmly on the side of allowing kids to compete safely. “
Larsen predicted some youth sports leagues could go under if the restrictions aren’t eased.
“If we lose another soccer or baseball season, we may never get back to any level seen before,” Larsen warned.
Describing the current restrictions as “oppressive,” Larsen argued there “has been no evidence to support that parents watching on the sidelines have increased spread” of COVID-19.
“In fact, the opposite is true. Parents, grand-parents, guardians, and children can safely social distance in an outdoor field. There is no evidence to support why there should be restrictions on them,” Larsen said.
“Canadian parents, living in a free country, should be able to watch their children play.”
Banning play is having an impact on the mental health of youth, “something that we feel has not been taken into consideration by our British Columbia elected officials,” Larsen maintained in his message to the province.
“Before we see more mental and emotional problems in our young people, we demand you lay off your restrictions so they can play and have healthy activities that interact with other children.”
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