Student Athletes of Washington Want to Play

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Governor Inslee:

We recently formed an organization called “SAW - Student Athletes of Washington.  As our name implies, we represent many high school student athletes.  We are writing to ask that the traditional Fall sports not be delayed or postponed, thereby allowing them to be played this Fall as originally scheduled.

We feel that our voice is not one that is being considered or heard, as it feels that those in positions to make decisions on our behalf are not looking at things from our collective point of view. The repercussions of not being allowed to participate in school sports this Fall will lead to:

-youth depression;

-more volatile situations at home due to our parents trying to balance work with children at home (our parents are frayed and worn to the bone);

-increased stress on single parent households;

-the inability, especially for those of us where finances are a daily struggle, to potentially earn a college scholarship.

Participation in activities and athletics after school provides an enormous outlet for the “SAW”.  The structure and discipline provided there for members of the band, cheer, and the various other sports and activities is just not something that is reproduceable at home and especially in front of a computer screen. For many of us who come from families who are struggling financially, we use athletics combined with success in the classroom to better ourselves.  This gives us the potential to hopefully play at the next level.  But, but only if we are able to showcase these abilities to those at the collegiate level. For many of us, these are now becoming lost opportunities for which there is no recovery later on.

We understand that there are risks. There are risks every time we get into an automobile, or step on the sports field or even risks when we walk in public if some of us “look” the wrong way or say the wrong thing and can end up being attacked and even shot.  This is the reality for many of us.

I am sure you are aware that it is between the hours of 3pm to 5:30pm when most juvenile crime takes place in our state (after school and before our parents or guardians come home from work). We can help keep that in check and not add to the problem by letting us return to our practices, competitions and events. Many of our age are already “out and about” without fever checks, pods, and organization—without accountability to our teammates and without the push by coaches and our activity leaders to get good grades to remain eligible. We are collectively becoming “lost”. 

We know to stay away from our grandparents, who are the most vulnerable.  It is interesting that our grandparents are the most vocal on the need for us to play this Fall.  This must come from the pragmatic wisdom they have collected and learned from their life experiences.

In conclusion, we know you were a very accomplished and star HS athlete.  You understand better than most the importance of us participating in Fall sports.  We are asking you to considerinstituting the change that will allow us to return to our activities and athletics in September. 

Thank you for listening to us,

Student Athletes of Washington (SAW)