Local father, coach concerned latest shutdowns will negatively impact young athletes

SPOKANE, Wash. — The recent shutdown is not just bars and restaurants. The Spokane Youth Sports Association says young athletes are suffering as well. 

Sports seasons have been either canceled or shut down. One father and soccer coach worries it could have a negative impact on mental health when kids are being isolated from their friends. 

“Not having that outlet is a big loss for them,” said Jess Williams. 

He’s coached youth soccer for the last five years. Two of his players happen to be his own daughters. 

“Youth sports in general are such a great opportunity for the kids to grow in confidence in trying new things,” said Williams. 

Soccer season was canceled in the spring during the first shutdown. 

READ: Spokane Youth Sports suspends all programs indefinitely amid coronavirus concerns

“I know for my daughters probably the biggest thing they missed was just the connection with friends, you know, the ability to build friendships while doing something they enjoyed,” said Williams. 

Spokane Youth Sports Association was forced to cancel indoor sports programs on Sunday, including its K-6 basketball academy. 

SYSA is also struggling. Last March, they moved their offices out of the Bingo hall, which was a major source of revenue. Their normal staff of 15 employees has shrunk to just 3.