|For Immediate Release
Date: October 19, 2020
OC Supervisor and Olympic Gold Medalists Call to Resume Sports: Youth Games and Competitions
(Santa Ana, Calif.) — Today, Supervisor Donald P. Wagner called upon the state to fully reopen youth sports. California is one of the last states to allow youth to compete and play sports games in the United States. Families must travel out of state to give their kids a shot at playing or scholarship opportunities. Keeping youth out of sports widens the opportunity gap for our disadvantaged communities. Recent data and science show our student-athletes are not vulnerable to the virus, and they can take steps to keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe.
Safety protocols were discussed for various sports industries, including staggered schedules, mask-wearing, physical distancing, temperature checks, hand sanitizer, waivers, and educating families to clear fields fast.
Supervisor Wagner kicked off the press conference and introduced speakers:
- Mayor of Mission Viejo and Olympic Gold Medalist Brian Goodell,1976 Montreal, Quebec, Gold medalsin the 400-Meter and 1,500-Meter freestyle events
- Olympic Swimming Gold Medalist Jessica Hardy Meichtry, London 2012
- President of Coast Soccer League Bernie Towers
- Vice President, Tournament Division, Baseball Factory Justin Roswell
- President Blue Buoy Swim School Member Orange County Drowning Prevention Task Force JohnnyJohnson
- President of Cal South Bob Turner
- Mayor of Tustin Allan Bernstein
- Colby Douglas, Crean Lutheran student-athlete
"The children are forgotten in the state's inconsistent response; it's our job to look at the science and advocate for them. We heard the ways our children are practicing safely today. We need to let them play games and compete, too," said Supervisor Wagner.
"I hear from my constituents, parents who come to Board meetings and say the shutdown is harming children. The American Academic of Pediatrics and youth sports leaders are in tune with their communities and believe the value of sports outweighs the risks of letting our youth play. We want the governor to hear our voices and hear our kids. Allow our kids to lead full, healthy lives once again," said Supervisor Wagner.
A copy of Dr. Kenton Fibel's research compilation, titled "Keeping our Kids Active: The Value of Youth Sports", was also distributed. Dr. Fibel is the Sports Medicine Physician for the Anaheim Ducks.