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Youth sports suffer as fear of COVID keeps kids indoors

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 7:14 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Youth softball is starting back up, but a league in central Texas says fewer girls are signed up than usual.

Elizabeth Park is on the Temple Youth Softball Board, and she tells me, “After COVID hit, last year, we had a lot of kids that dropped out of the program.”

The registration numbers never recovered, and, frankly, neither have the kids, who have been cooped-up inside for much of the pandemic.

Gabi Barbosa plays in the league, and she says softball is a much needed escape: “It just gives us a chance to move. In school, you’re trapped.”

Youth softball also offers a support system and new social life for the girls in different age groups from four years old to 15 years old.

Elizabeth’s daughter, Avery, explains, “It’s more than just a game. It’s like a family.”

Elizabeth adds, “Those are your friends. Those are your sisters. You don’t see people for anything other than that. I think that’s just one of the most valuable things that you pick up from team sports.”

The league in Temple puts a focus on teaching life skills and lessons that go beyond the softball diamond.

Gabi Barbosa explains, “This also teaches you team work. So, if you need to work on a project in Science, or Reading, or anything, you will be able to communicate with other people.”

You don’t need any experience to play – youth softball is welcoming to girls of all skill levels and all financial backgrounds.

“We have equipment for people who can’t afford equipment... we have scholarships for people who can’t afford to play,” says Elizabeth.

You can register online at www.TempleSoftball.org

Registration is open until March 4th.

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