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Let Them Play rallies held in Chico and Redding

Across the state, parents and athletes rallied together, urging health and school leaders to let their kids get back to playing high school sports.

Posted: Jan 15, 2021 8:45 PM
Updated: Jan 16, 2021 5:04 PM

We have added video coverage of the Chico rally as well, which was held in front of Pleasant Valley High School. Our Chico reporter Amy Lanski covered the rally in Chico. Ana Marie Torrea covered the Redding event in front of Enterprise High School.


REDDING, Calif. – Across the state, parents, and athletes rallied together, urging health and school leaders to let their kids get back to playing high school sports.

In front of Enterprise High School, people rallied together.

Cars who drove by honked in support. While people cheered and waved.

“We're out here because we love the game,” said Jaylen Johnson, a student-athlete at Parsons Junior High School. He plans to sport by the time he gets into high school.

“We just want to play so we can get to college and get recruited.”

People from different schools coming together. Some even coming from as far as Burney. They held their signs saying "Save Our Sports" and "Athletics are Essential".

“It's been really hard,” said Kaitlin Estes, another student-athlete from Burney High School.

“It kind of feels like they just stripped everything away from us if I'm being really honest. I and my classmates have lost a lot of our motivation just because we have nothing to. A lot of us have worked so hard and that's how a lot of us plan to get to college.”

Mark Van Denend, who organized the rally, said the purpose of Friday’s rally was to show support for the kids.

“Kids are powerless in the midst of what adults decide to do and not do,” said Denend. “We wanted to come out and say we support our kids. We think that getting them back to sports is going to help them.”

“Our primary concern is our kids, that's the goal and the focus. We're not trying to distract from that with any political message,” adds Denend.

“We're allowing the NBA play, we're allowing the NFL, and we're allowing professional sports,” said Jonathan Westbrook, a parent at the rally.

“They're getting paid millions. If they can do it safely, then why can't our kids.”

Enterprise High School says Friday’s Let Them Play Rally was not sponsored by the school or the school district.

Shasta County still remains in the purple tier, only low contact sports are allowed. That includes sports such as golf, track and field, and tennis just to name a few.

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