ADAMS, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s been a summer to remember- or forget as far as area sports is concerned with fields quiet due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The South Jefferson Sportsplex held the first of two summer soccer camps this past week in Adams with kids of all ages from both Jefferson and Lewis counties taking part.
With COVID-19 restrictions in place, camp organizer and owner of the Sportsplex Trevor Perry, who also happens to be the boys varsity soccer coach at South Jeff, had to cap the number of participants at 50.
While Perry says the kids are learning fundamentals of the game, he tries focusing on something else they can use on and off the field: life lessons.
“Working hard on the field equates to working hard in life. I don’t promote to them participation trophies per se as of the life lessons as to why I started all the sportplex programs to begin with. It’s my tool to, you know, contribute to the kids as they become better people,” said Perry.
One of the life lessons front and center this year is playing sports while dealing with the pandemic. And Perry says being able to get the kids back out on the field is not only beneficial for them physically but mentally as well.
“There are a lot of modifications we’ve had to make and adjust to but when it comes down to it the kids are healthier out here playing, they’re enjoying themselves and we’ve got amazing support from the kids and parents and community. People will come out and watch and just say it’s great to see kids playing again. You know, I understand we live in a time where there are particular hazards we’re being precautionary to, but you know, at what point is their sedentary lifestyle gonna be hazardous as well,” said Perry.
Some of the athletes taking part in the camp saw the end of their winter sports seasons and spring sports seasons wiped out due to the coronavirus and say it’s a good feeling to get back on the field playing any sport.
“It feels great, it feels good to finally get outside and exercise to get some cardio, to hang out with our friends even though we have to be socially distant. It’s still nice to have some social interactions after being away from people for so long and then it’s also nice to finally get back to the sports that we were suppose to play all summer and it’s just good to get back to some normalcy,” said South Jeff soccer player Colby Randall.
Randall feels losing sports to play due to COVID-19 has made not only himself, but his friends and teammates appreciate more having the chance to play the sport they love.
“Back in the past we took the sports for granted, we were always able to play, we never really had no opportunities. We were able to play all the time and when COVID and the pandemic really taught us that we can’t take this for granted because we don’t know if we’re always gonna be able to play soccer and it’s just been great to finally get back out and get back to it,” said Randall.
A lesson Perry hopes each and every one of these players takes with them after camp and uses not only in sports, but in life as well.