“Let Them Play,” rallies are taking place across California with a mission to bring back high school and youth sports.
From 4 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15, on the sidewalk in front of Truckee High School, one of those rallies will be taking place.
Truckee’s local event was organized by several including Aaron Abraham, who is a parent, board member and coach for Truckee River United FC Soccer club.
Abraham says that with an open dialogue and honesty, that schools should be able to safely resume sports.
“Get these kids out in a socially responsible way,” Abraham said. “We need people willing to spend the energy to make it happen.”
Abraham coaches U15 and U14 girls soccer. Abraham says with extra protocols the club, which is made up of 250 players, was able to play and scrimmage by October with extra protocols in place.
Some of those protocols included creating guidelines, surveys, setting up cones, ensuring 8-feet distancing of players with continual supervision and monitoring.
“It took a lot to manage, but if there is a will there’s a way,” he said. “It worked.”
He said that he hasn’t seen transmission going through the athletic platform, and that it has been from outside gatherings.
Abraham hopes the schools can create a similar framework to get kids back to playing sports in a safe and responsible way.
“It doesn’t have to be all or nothing,” he said.
He hopes the rally can bring attention to officials so California can come up with a balanced path that includes sports.
He says that athletes, parents and coaches have been waiting around for months.
“We finally have the ball rolling,” he said. “These kids need an opportunity to further their life.”
Abraham says that he wouldn’t be where he is today without receiving a scholarship for the sports he played in high school.
Organizers are expecting to have about 200 kids and parents from the basin participating. Abraham says they will be staying proactive to ensure participants are wearing masks and social distancing. “We want to send the right message,” he said. “We want to make this non-political. It’s about the kids and community, to give them a voice.”
All supporters of youth sports are encouraged to participate. Organizers ask those who participate to wear a mask and that kids wear school colors and make signs with #LetThemPlayCA.
Several communities throughout California will be taking part in the rally.