The City Council’s decision to issue fall permits for youth sports leagues, after suspending them indefinitely, was “a victory for children and families who were looking for a safe, healthy outlet,” State Senator Andrew Gournades said.

“It shouldn’t have taken public pressure to get it right the first time,” the Brooklyn elected said of the City backtracking on its decision.

Recently, the City’s Parks Department made a last-minute decision not to issue youth sports league permits, stopping community-based youth sports leagues from using city parks and cancelling fall leagues.

Elected officials, parents and coaches call on City Council to allow youth sports leagues to continue. Photo: Supplied.

Gournades said children and families were desperate to partake in safe, responsible activities despite the pandemic, and with transmission remaining low and students already using public and private parks, there was no reason why youth sports permits shouldn’t be renewed.

Gournades said low-to-moderate risk youth sports had been allowed since Phase 3 reopening in July and the Parks Department’s decision not to issue youth fall sports permits had caused undue stress for families.

“Still, I am glad that the kids will be allowed to play in their fall leagues. This is a common sense decision that will have a positive impact on equity, health and safety.”

Parents and coaches came together with local elected officials to challenge the City’s initial decision, and joined in celebration in its reversal.

President of Brooklyn City FC. Jesse DeLorenzo said staff, players and families were all ecstatic the City would renew permits, allowing players back on the fields.

“It is vital for their physical, emotional and mental health during this tremendously challenging year,” DeLorenzo said. “We’re especially relieved that it will be able to proceed in an organized, healthy, and safe fashion, and look forward to hitting the field this fall.”

Dyker Heights mother-of-three Tracy Serrano said her boys had been looking forward to getting back to organized sports and their teammates, after all the uncertainty of the past few months.

“Their hours spent on the field with coaches and teammates gives them a sense of pride, accomplishment and community,” Serrano said. “After missing so much during the past few months, getting back to the field will be great for their minds, bodies and hearts.”


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