Meridian Opens Registration for Sports and Recreation Programs
HASLETT - The Meridian Township Parks and Recreation Department has opened registration for youth and adult sports and other recreation programs, kicking off this new sports season with soccer.
Mike Devlin, the parks and recreation specialist said with COVID numbers declining and the vaccine becoming available to more people, the department felt it was the right time to open up registration with the right safety protocols to keep kids, spectators and coaches safe.
“Obviously there’s a lot of protocol within the health department, within the state of Michigan, CDC guidelines,” Devlin said. “So what we’re gonna do is every kid will have to wear a mask when they’re playing, and every spectator that is coming to the game will have to wear a mask, stay six feet apart, only two spectators per child will be allowed to come watch the game, and kids will have to sit with their parents or whoever came to watch their games with them.”
Devlin said the department sat down and talked about what precautions and guidelines they could enforce to bring sports and recreation programs back while keeping everyone involved safe.
“For baseball, they won’t be sitting in the dugout, for soccer we’ll have the parents spread out throughout the field, they’ll have to go sit with their parents if they’re not playing,” Devlin said.
Devlin said instead of having sports seasons overlap or travel throughout the state, all programs will be in-house, meaning the programs will only be within Haslett and Okemos.
“Second through sixth grade is normally a recreational travel league,” Devlin said. “But we’re just gonna try to do in-house where we can kind of keep it contained, and if there is an outbreak, we can figure out who was there and be able to communicate with parents and kids if we do have an issue.”
Devlin said baseball season begins the week of May 24, and it normally would have a two week overlap with softball, but this year Devlin is doing things differently.
“This year I kind of cut off the overlap,” Devlin said. “I didn’t want kids coming from different directions, playing different sports, so right now it’s just soccer season and then when soccer season is done, it’ll be baseball and softball season for the kids.”
Devlin said registration for soccer season is already in full-swing with over 250 kids already signed up to play.
“I truly believe that if you put a good program together, people will start talking about it, and that’s what’s happened so far,” Devlin said.
Devlin said he hopes reopening sports and recreation programs will bring kids together again while keeping them healthy and safe.
“A lot of kids have not seen their friends, so this will be a great opportunity for kids to make new friends, see new friends, and just enjoy the outdoors,” Devlin said.
“We’re hoping to get through the season where everybody stays healthy, our coaches stay healthy, our spectators stay healthy, that is the main thing.”