BROOKLINE, MA — Earlier this week, the Brookline Health Commissioner announced all school sports should cease until February because of the pandemic. Wednesday, he added non-school related recreational sports to that temporary ban.
The pause, effective immediately, includes all practices, games, scrimmages and tournaments and applies to public and private schools in town, as well as public and private recreational sports programs.
The order applies to organized sports scheduled to take place both in Massachusetts and outside the state prior to Feb. 1, according to Brookline Health Commissioner Swannie Jett.
An initial order pausing athletics was limited to school programs.
LeRoy Watkins co-owns Viking Sports, which is a sports recreation company headquartered at the corner of Route 9 and Cypress Street, offering services for kids to adults throughout the state.
Watkins said when he found out about the order he sent a note to the Brookline families his company serves.
“They were completely understanding and sympathetic,” he said.
His company had already been abiding by Health Department’s long list of pandemic rules and regulations, but he said, he understands the reason for the pause.
“I completely agree with the order,” he said. “We feel safest if we don’t have to put anyone at risk.”
And with so many children in school now, either hybrid or online, there’s less demand for Viking Sports services, anyway. The company won’t be put on pause, he said, and his team will help families keep active in whatever way they can.
As January nears an end, the Department of Public Health will reevaluate whether athletics programs can resume based on available COVID-19 data. Community members will be notified as public health leaders make future decisions.
Related: Brookline Orders A Pause On Winter School Athletics
Jenna Fisher is a news reporter for Patch. Got a tip? She can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 617-942-0474. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram (@ReporterJenna). Have a something you’d like posted on the Patch? Here’s how.
This article originally appeared on the Brookline Patch