Asked, answered, delivered.
In a routine editorial board meeting with Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday morning, we asked if he would work with the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) to get high school kids playing fall sports again. Polis said he was working with CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green toward that goal.
“Let’s find a way for the schools that are ready to go back with football with field hockey in the fall are able to do that as long as we also recognize that other districts, some of them aren’t even back in person yet, that they have the alternative to do it in a different season,” Polis said. “The important thing is every kid in Colorado gets the opportunity to participate in every organized sport under Chassa (CHSAA). That has been our overriding goal and we really hope to work with them to provide that flexibility sooner rather than later for more sports in the fall season.”
“Sooner” turned into a mere few hours later when Polis announced conditional approval of revised guidelines intended to allow fall sports.
Polis and Commissioner Blanford-Green deserve accolades for working together to resolve this issue while taking reasonable measures to protect high school athletes from contracting and/or spreading COVID-19.
We need to take serious precautions to prevent another major outbreak of COVID-19. Yet, we must do so with cures that are not worse than the disease.
Sidelining most of 80,000-plus athletes this fall leaves the state’s teenage demographic more susceptible to the pitfalls of boredom and inactivity. Those include obesity, substance abuse, anxiety and more.
As pointed out in a previous editorial, the postponement of fall sports also put thousands of Colorado kids at risk of losing out on athletic scholarships that often pose the best option for economically disadvantaged students to attend college.
Rescuing the fall athletic season won’t be easy this late in the game. But we owe it to Colorado’s kids to get them back on the field, ASAP.
The Gazette editorial board