Local youth sports leaders join forces to push for reopening

Youth sports organizations across Rhode Island are joining forces to come with a plan to present to the state in order to safely reopen.

Jillian Yuettner, a Coventry mother of 3, said her kids are having a tough time right now.

“My daughter is mentally struggling,” Yuettner said. “Normally she’s your average everyday kid, happy, she’s been struggling socially and emotionally.”

Sports are usually her daughter’s outlet and where she spends time with her friends.

That’s why youth sports team leaders are forming a committee in order to come up with the best plan.

Chris Jones, owner of Rhode Island Hitmen Hockey,  is on that committee.

“We are trying to take a united approach as far as bringing a presentation to the governor that’s inclusive of all sports,” Jones said.

Governor Raimondo has previously said organized youth sports will be tabled for now, following C.D.C. recommendations, but Jones and his colleagues aren’t giving up.

“This is a completely different way of life something these kids aren’t accustomed to,” Jones said. “I have two boys myself and there are certain days you can tell this is having an impact.”

Michael Giard, Director of Rhode Island Rays Baseball Club, said it’s important for both parents and children.

“I think it’s important for the mental health of everyone,” Giard said.

The plan will be focused on how to safely play sports.

“We’ve talked about no sharing helmets or bats,” Giard said.

“I know a lot of rinks have already marked out traffic patterns, tape in the locker rooms, so kids are only sitting so close to each other,” Jones said.

Yuettner said it will make all the difference for her children.

“It gives them that positive feeling,” Yuettner said. “What do they have to do right now other than wake up and do school?”

 

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