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Sports organizations urge Ford to reopen outdoor activities

A coalition of sports and recreational organizations from across the province want outdoor activities such as golf, tennis and basketball to be opened up immediately.

Leaders from Athletics Ontario, Pickleball Ontario, the Ontario Volleyball Association, Golf Ontario, the Ontario Tennis Association and the Ontario Soccer Association all signed a letter addressed to Premier Doug Ford, saying they “cannot overstate the mental health crisis facing our children and youth”, and that the provincial government should “follow the advice of your own health experts, and immediately re-open outdoor activities such as golf, tennis, basketball, pickleball, volleyball, soccer and others, in order to provide a much-needed outlet for the residents of Ontario”.

The letter notes the heads of these organizations do understand the importance of reducing the strain on Ontario’s health care capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic” and “believe it is critical that all Ontarians continue to take this virus in a very serious manner”, but do note the “alarming studies and reports emerging about the mental and physical well-being of adults”, particularly the inability to participate in normal, everyday life activities, particularly in the outdoors.

Last week, Ford said restrictions imposed on outdoor activities are meant to limit mobility in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

There have been just over 8,500 deaths in Ontario caused by COVID-19, and 764 patients are currently in intensive care units.
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