BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — For over 50 years, the North of the River Recreation and Parks District has offered kids an introduction to sports through their after-school programs, but this year due to COVID-19, that almost didn’t happen.
As we all know, COVID-19 hit every industry hard, putting most activities on pause last year. But even with things opening up and resuming to normal, the NOR sporting programs were unlikely going to be able to happen this fall due to staffing shortages.
But thanks to i9 Sports, a competitor of NOR, the organization will be able to offer sports this year.
“They actually approached us and said what can we do to help you have these kids have a season," said Lisa Plank, Marketing Director for NOR. "And that just speaks to them and their commitment to the community. Historically we’re competitors.”
NOR is an opportunity for many young individuals in elementary and middle school to be introduced to sports ahead of high school. When it looked like nor would be unable to offer a fall season for students this year, i9 sports asked how they can help.
Now the two are partners and students in NOR districts will still get to enjoy sports this year.
Starting this fall, nor will resume after-school sports like basketball, volleyball, and track. NOR offers sports for students in over 26 schools throughout the district.
The program will continue to follow state and public health guidelines asking unvaccinated members of the audience to wear masks when attending indoor sporting events and sanitizing all equipment thoroughly.
“The youth sports guidelines, with those guidelines in place, sanitation has increased, our staff members are masked, we have additional hand sanitizing stations within all our facilities, we sanitize on a more frequent basis,” Plank said.
Anyone interested in signing their child up for after-school sports with NOR can do so here.