“Being back at play in person has been restorative, giving the kids a sense of hope. It also relieves frustration from not being able to be outside for so long.”
“It was a return to a routine and a sense of normalcy, which these kids thrive with and suffer without.”
While we are grateful that our virtual Saturday night get-togethers were a success during the spring, our athletes, parents, volunteers and BYSC staff were all eager to get back to play this fall. We managed to stay connected during the early days of quarantine and shutdown, but nothing replaces the live interactions and wonderful moments that come with playing together in person on Sunday mornings.
Getting back to play safely came with challenges “thanks” to the pandemic, and the BYSC team used the summer to anticipate, plan and overcome. We were determined to have our Special Needs programming back up and running! We knew we couldn’t yet return to the SUNY Purchase gym but rather would need to be outside. Thankfully, we were able to secure space with Elmwood Day Camp in White Plains. Next, we set Covid-19 protocols that followed local Board of Health guidelines. The health and safety of our athletes, parents and volunteers will always be the number one priority.
With the plan in place, the question was: What kind of turnout will we see among athletes and volunteers? Would they and their parents be comfortable enough to return? YES!
After the first sessions in September, it was clear that you were as excited as we were to be back. Athlete and volunteer participation in both the 10am “Teen League” and 11am general session was outstanding. It was like we hadn’t missed a beat! The connection athletes have to volunteers and their peers, which only truly works its magic in person, has been visible… and makes us absolutely ecstatic. While setting up prior to the kids’ arrival on a beautiful fall Sunday morning, Executive Director Danny Bernstein had a smile from ear to ear. “These are my favorite two hours of the week.”