A group of six athlete representatives from Allegheny Mountain Swimming and Middle Atlantic Swimming LSCs wrote a letter to the governor of Pennsylvania in reaction to his August 7th recommendation that PA youth sports be postponed until 2021. Governor Wolf’s recommendation would effectively mean no athletic competitions for any youth sports, including high school sports, for the rest of the calendar year. The group would like the governor to consider reversing his decision, at the very least to allow swimming competitions to take place this fall.
Governor Wolf’s recommendation that youth sports be postponed to 2021:
- Applies to team and individual, school and non-school recreational youth sports;
- Includes competitions, intramural play and scrimmages;
- Continue conditioning, drills and other training activities on an individual basis;
- Does not apply to collegiate and professional sports;
- Gathering limits remain unchanged – no more than 25 persons may gather indoors and 250 outdoors.
Athlete reps Topher Bishop, Meredith Reese, Ria Dietz, Isabella Donato, Christina Cappola, and Sofia Pejcic argue that the governor should allow swimming competitions to resume for a number of reasons. Primarily, they cite a CDC study, which concludes that “there is no evidence” the Coronavirus can spread through water, implying that swimming is a relatively low-risk activity in terms of the pandemic. They continue to build on this argument by outlining the various ways they have been able to return to practice, by adopting practices like reduced training groups, less swimmers per lane, staying 6 feet apart, etc.
Governor Wolf’s August 7th recommendation came in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, which many states in the U.S. are still struggling with. Pennsylvania has largely flattened the curve of new COVID cases, however, the number of new cases in PA has remained more or less stagnant over the past month. Around 800 cases are being confirmed daily in the state. At its worst, Pennsylvania saw 2,000 new cases in a day, back in early April. The number of new cases had fallen as low as just over 300 in a day back in early June, but the number jumped back up in July.
The full letter can be found here.