Youth sports organizations are slated to return during Phase 3 of the city’s reopening on Monday, and U.S. Rep. Max Rose wants to make sure they do so safely.
Rose wrote a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio asking that the Department of Parks and Recreation reach out to youth teams and organizations to ensure that the leagues are prepared to meet health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Little league and youth sports are the cultural bedrock of Staten Island and South Brooklyn,” said Rose. “As we continue to bend the curve in New York City, the families in my district are thrilled that their kids can get out and play again. We should not take this major step for granted. What states like Florida and Arizona have taught us is that we must remain vigilant, especially when it comes to our youngest and most vulnerable populations.”
Rose pointed out that New York State guidelines require youth sports organizations to meet a range of new requirements.
“While the governor’s Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency laid out common sense guidelines, our leagues and youth sports organizations must comply with a range of duties including screening, testing, tracking, tracing, ensuring that PPE, hygiene, and disinfectant standards are met, along with other requirements,” he wrote. “We want to set up our youth sports teams for success, not failure.”
Rose urged the mayor, Parks Department and other relevant departments to reach out to organizations to ensure that their permits are in order and that they have the resources in place to meet these requirements and keep children safe.
“If City Hall takes this extra step ahead of July 6, our parents and youth sports teams will be more prepared to comply with guidelines, and our children will be better equipped to actually get their summer and childhoods back,” he said.
On May 18, Rose introduced the COVID-19 Youth Sports and Working Families Relief Act. During the pandemic, youth sports organizations have lost $8.5 billion nationwide. The goal of the legislation is to equip working families with the financial tools to bounce back from the economic crisis and to help save the organizations.