IRVINE, Calif. - A passionate plea from Orange County leaders and advocates of youth sports. They came together at Tustin Sports Park to plead their case to Governor Newsom to allow kids to get back in the game:
“I’m going to challenge our governor to give us a timeline and an action plan to allow our kids to get back out on the field,” President of Baseball Factory, Justin Roswell said.
“We believe youth sport participation makes for happier children healthier families and stronger communities,” Bernie Towers President of Coast Soccer League said.
Championing the cause, Olympic gold medal winner Jessica Hardy.
“To not offer sports is doing a big disservice to our population.” Hardy said.
She grew up in Orange County and took home the gold for swimming in the 2012 games.
“The only way I stayed out of trouble growing up it allowed me to give my full energy and pent up frustration and things you go through normal childhood experiences," Hardy said.
Colby Douglas is a senior at Crean Lutheran High School In Irvine which has resumed football practices safely:
“When we come onto the field we take a temperature check everyone’s wearing masks off the field wearing masks anytime you’re not practicing or weightlifting coaches are all wearing face masks and we can open safely,” Douglas said.
Advocates say not reopening sports is causing higher rates of teen depression and causing some players to miss out on critical opportunities for college scholarships:
“It’s really restricted those high school baseball players from being seen by college coaches,” Roswell said.
These advocates are demanding the governor provide a timeline for reopening youth sports so kids like Colby can reach for their dreams:
“It’s everything so it takes my mind off school I get to be with my friends it’s a great way to escape and be physical,” Douglas said.
FOX 11 reached out to Governor Newsom for a response but he hasn’t yet provided one or a specific plan for restarting youth sports.