The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our lives in many ways. Sports, specifically, have taken a huge hit. Live games, practices, and events teams and organizations put on had to be cancelled or rescheduled.
Lines to get into games have shifted into lines for sustenance as layoffs, furloughs, and job reductions hit the area. A local organization made up of those once dedicated to seats in the stands is now helping put food on the plate.
“Not only was there a dramatic increase in demand for food, volunteers were needed and during the lockdown it became difficult to staff the food distribution lines,” said Visit Stockton’s Director of Sports & Tourism Development Tim Pasisz.
Although we see how much COVID-19 has affected schools, businesses and sports – food banks have also experienced the hardships of the pandemic.
“The California National Guard was on site for several months to fill the void as it relates to staffing,” said Pasisz
Stockton Sports Unite has taken the initiative of putting the time that would have been used to host games, into the community by putting on food drives.
On Oct.2, Stockton Sports Unite put on a food drive benefiting the Emergency Food Bank of Stockton/ San Joaquin.
“We had 1,533 pounds of food donated that day!” Said Pasisz.
As time goes on, we are starting to see communities come back to a norm within the pandemic.
“The California National Guard has ceased their operations with us with things reopening, but with things reopening we are now seeing more people signing up to volunteer and assist us,” said Pasisz
As for the many sport seasons that had to face drastic measures of change or being completely pushed back to 2021, the Stockton community will slowly and safely begin the process of starting up sports.
“Sports will begin to pick up slowly. The University of the Pacific already has athletes back on campus practicing and more and more things will begin soon,” said Pasisz.
Professional sport teams of Stockton are too beginning to look into the future of games for the community to come back together and enjoy.
“As of now, the professional teams (Heat, Kings and Ports) are all planning on having their next season (with some modifications of course).” said Pasisz.
Hockey, basketball, and baseball games bring Stockton together to enjoy, have fun and support the city overall.
“Stockton is a great sports city, and sports will help the
city bounce back,” said Pasisz.