Parents excited to ditch binoculars, finally watch kids play in Honolulu

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gov. David Ige approved the City’s request to allow spectators to watch permitted outdoor sporting events effective immediately.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi submitted the request to on Friday, May 14.

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“Outdoor sports have been operating for two incubation periods and I do not believe there are any cases tied to these activities,” Blangiardi said in a statement. “Now that the participants have been allowed to return to play, and done so safely, the logical next step is to allow for spectators. I truly believe allowing spectators at outdoor organized sporting events is safe, and I thank Governor Ige for approving our request to allow families back on the sidelines to watch their loved ones play.”

“I know how important this step is to young athletes, parents, as well as their families and friends,” said Ige. “We believe people know what the rules are and will follow them to keep their loved ones safe, allowing us to resume these types of long-awaited activities.”

According to the emergency order, face coverings must still be worn outside when physical distance of six feet cannot be maintained from members who are not of the same household. Any group of spectators cannot be larger than 10 people.

Socializing and potlucks before or after the scheduled sports activities are still prohibited.

Mark Veneri, a youth football coach and parent, says he’s seen safe practices.

“People are very aware of everything that’s going on and there’s a lot of respect out there,” Veneri said.

Parents are happy to ditch their creative ways to watch their kids play from afar.

“We all resorted to sit in our cars or wait here, sometimes pretend to walk around the park so we can get a glimpse of our kids playing,” youth baseball parent Tess Tavita said.

“I had to go out and buy binoculars just so I could get a closer view to it,” fellow parent Phil Baltunado said. “I know our coaches helped us out doing live streams and stuff like that too.”

The parents obviously love to watch, but they also think their kids can’t wait to see family cheering them on.

“It feels good,” Baltunado added. “Going to be excited because now. At least we can clap for them and be close to them. I know the kids always want to look over, and they look at their parents for support. Everyone can support the team, and the players and encourage them as they play.”

10-year-old baseball star Hunter says it gives him more confidence.

“I’m actually excited to be able to watch my games so they can cheer my team on and myself,” Hunter said.

High school sports finished last weekend and won’t resume until the fall semester.

The University of Hawaii only has one sporting event on campus this semester with the UH Baseball team hosting UC San Diego Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. UH says they have no plans yet to allow fans.

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