“Safety is our top priority and we have put careful thought and planning into the upcoming Youth Sports session,” says Executive Director Jarrod Williams. “During these challenging times, the overall experience may be different but the Y remains committed to providing an exceptional sports program that will develop each child in spirit, mind and body – all while ensuring everyone’s safety.”
Discounts on all youth programing is included in a Y membership. Alissa Jergensen has been signing up her daughter, Kate, for soccer the past two years. She couldn’t believe how affordable it was compared to other programs.
“There’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars. I almost feel like I’m ripping the Y off because we’re getting the best coaches,” she says. “It’s very age-appropriate and they’re learning. I’ve seen other kids at the park and Kate’s younger than all of them and she can actually dribble the ball and all that stuff other kids couldn’t do so I feel like we’re getting a really, really good value. Youth sports are super important because I think kids nowadays are spending way too much time on their phones and I noticed my kid is always the happiest after practice or after a game.”
As with all YMCA programs and services, the Y follows guidance from the CDC and government officials to create a safer environment and ensure the highest standards of cleanliness and appropriate accommodations for social distancing. Here are the new Youth Sports safety measures participants can expect:
- Temperature checks and/or wellness screening for all participants, volunteer coaches and staff prior to each game and practice. Those with temperatures exceeding 100.4 cannot attend.
- When applicable, designated entry points for Youth Sports participants and spectators.
- Limited spectators per game/match and practice/clinic.
- Social distancing guidelines enforced in spectator areas.
- Depending on Y location, some spectators may be required to wear face coverings indoors.
- Pre- and post-team huddles may be conducted outdoors, depending on Y location.
- Extra time is scheduled between games to allow for cleaning and safe crowd transitions. Benches, bleachers and equipment will be disinfected between each game.
- Adapted league play to ensure limited exposure among players.
By implementing similar safety measures, the Tampa and Suncoast Ys have been able to successfully execute other key youth programs such as Youth Relief Care for Essential Workers, Summer and Holiday Camps, Dance Classes, Swim Lessons and Swim Team. “Based on our firsthand experience running these programs in 2020, we are confident we can keep kids and spectators safe without sacrificing the high-quality experience you’ve come to expect and appreciate at the YMCA,” says Jarrod.
So, if you feel like your kids missed out in 2020, enroll them in YMCA Youth Sports today! They’ll learn teamwork, sportsmanship and character values all while getting some much needed exercise. Learn more and register at your local Y:
About the Author: Kelli Biandudi is the Communications Manager for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA. She lives with her family in downtown Tampa. When she’s not promoting the good work of the YMCAs of Tampa Bay, she’s busy working out at them and trying to keep up with her 5-year-old son, Koa.