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Charleston recreational sports expecting higher numbers in spring

Updated: Feb. 3, 2021 at 7:28 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston Recreation Department says they have extended registration for Spring Sports for another week.

The last day to register is this Sunday, officials say.

Charleston Recreation Director Laurie Yarbrough says she will provide updates on their programs at Wednesday’s Health and Wellness Advisory Committee Meeting.

Winter youth sports like basketball and flag football are underway, however Yarbrough says safety protocols in place.She says they are planning for a lot more kids in the spring.

Last year, Yarbrough says they lost most of the spring sports season because of the pandemic.

“Yeah, because we had gotten about, I don’t know, three weeks into our season, kids were playing on teams, practicing, but we hadn’t really gotten started with the schedule. So, we are excited,” Yarbrough says. “And as Parks and Recreation people, our job is to bring people together. It’s great to go out to a soccer field on a Saturday and see families out there talking and kids playing, and it just be a community atmosphere. So being able to see some of those things again, even in masks, even social distancing, it is great.”

Yarbrough says this Winter they’ve had about 3,200 children playing youth sports, and they already have more than 4,500 registered for the spring season.

Part of this, she says, is because there are more spring sports - including baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer, and track and field.

Yarbrough says for all outdoor sports, children will be allowed two family members in attendance.

The city has eliminated travel for these youth sports, so Yarbrough says all Daniel Island teams will play each other and the same goes for James Island, West Ashley, and the peninsula.

Kids are required to wear masks when not on the field and Yarbrough says all teams are using chairs instead of benches so they can spread out when not playing.

The Recreation Department says they are always open to suggestions on how to improve the format of these sports during the pandemic.

“A lot of our kids are still doing online schooling, so you’re missing recess, you’re missing playtime, just those things of being a child that most of us fondly remember so it’s all very different,” Yarbrough said. “So, if you don’t live in a family where you have siblings and people to play with, you miss that interaction, you miss learning new skills and being with your friends. Just all of those things that sports enhance, it’s not the end all, be all, but it is certainly a wonderful part of growing and maturing.”

Yarbrough says she will be giving an update on this recreational sports information at Wednesday’s 9 a.m. Health and Wellness meeting.

Officials say more information on how to access that meeting can be found on the Charleston County agenda.

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