Let Them Play This Winter
Let Them Play This Winter
Governor Carney, Dr. Rattay and DIAA,
I am writing on behalf of thousands of DIAA athletes that will be impacted by your decision and guidance on winter sports. We want ALL winter sport student athletes to have a season and begin competition on January 11th.
Both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics support children participating in athletics. The science, specifically the science in Delaware, supports a decision to have a winter sports season.
A decision to deny our student athletes the ability to compete this winter will pose greater risks to them than Covid-19. Our students' mental health needs to be taken into consideration. Depression, anxiety, and suicide have all risen at an alarming rate in teenagers since March. Once again, most public school students are made to stay at home alone sitting in front of a computer screen. Sports and physical activity serve as natural ways to negate depression and anxiety that once again will increase due to virtual learning being forced upon them. Not allowing our student athletes to compete this winter will only increase mental health issues.
If winter sports are not able to have a season, Delaware will become a pay to play state. Our students’ ability to participate in athletics this winter will be dependent upon their families ability to pay. Families that can afford club teams and leagues will play and those that can’t will be left behind. This is not what we want for our children. All student athletes should have an equal opportunity to participate in sports this winter.
Youth sports leagues have been practicing and participating in tournaments throughout the summer and fall seasons. Basketball, wrestling and swimming leagues and tournaments have taken place since June without issue. Many other states are allowing their student athletes the opportunity to play sports this winter. Thankfully, these states value the mental health of their student athletes and are able to see the mental health risks far outweigh Covid risks.
Our student athletes, schools and athletic directors did a great job with fall sports. The Sports Medicine Committee was very impressed with how well the season went. Our student athletes need and deserve to have winter sports. They have proven through a successful fall season that they can and will do everything asked of them if given a chance to play. ALL winter sports deserve the same opportunity that fall sports were given.
Please sign this petition and contact Governor Carney, the DE Department of Health, DIAA and your local and state representatives so our student athletes can have the winter season they deserve!