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San Diegans take part in 'Let Them Play' rallies

let them play rally
Posted at 11:54 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-16 09:25:58-05

SAN DEIGO (KGTV) - Parents, student-athletes, and coaches across California held rallies Friday demanding the state allow youth sports to resume.

About 70 people took part in a demonstration by the Scripps Ranch High School stadium. It was one of many rallies that took place in San Diego County and across the state as part of the "Let Them Play" grassroots movement. Since the pandemic started, youth sports have been put on hold, and many of the parents and students say it’s time to let competition resume.

Many point to other states that have allowed sports to operate. They believe they can do it in a safe manner.

“It just isn’t fair when the science supports us.,” Riley Merrigan, a student-athlete, said. “Wearing masks and distancing (makes) it safe for us to play. I feel like we have the opportunity, and we can take advantage of it.”

Dr. Michele Ritter, an infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego Medical Center, says it is still too risky to resume youth sports.

“I think sports are great, but I think we are just at the most challenging time with COVID-19,” Ritter said.

“The best way parents can help their kids right now is to help us get through this,” she added, “which means hunker down, stay away from people, try to get our numbers down as much as possible until we can get people vaccinated.”

Earlier in the week, CIF San Diego announced that some sports could begin practices on Feb 1. The sports will be low contact outdoor sports like cross country, golf, skiing/snowboarding, swimming and diving, tennis, and track & field.