VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - This marks a big weekend for soccer players, many of whom have not taken the field since the pandemic started.
The Princess Anne Athletic Complex is holding its first tournament since March, with Beach FC hosting an event that's been in the works for months.
"The teams, the parents, everybody here is doing the best they can to abide to the distancing," Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation sports management coordinator Jane Jagodzinski said.
"You see a lot of air high fives and some new, inventive celebrations coming out, which allows for some socially distancing," Beach FC executive director Steve Danbusky said about how the athletes have adapted their goal celebrations to the COVID-19 guidelines.
More than 20 teams are scheduled to play and the facility is imposing safety restrictions, including closing off confined bleacher seating and encouraging ten feet of space between one another.
"Organizations, partners with the city, families, everybody needs to continue to work together," Danbusky said. "This is the first step of a long process and the more we can all work together like we have been, we hope to continue to see progress and continue to do our best to keep the kids on the field."
Keeping kids on the field is crucial to Beach FC, as they look to bring some sense of normalcy back into these young soccer players' lives.
"You can see it when kids are removed from their teams, or their schools or their classrooms for a little bit of time," Danbusky said. "The excitement that they get to show when they get back in that environment really kinda highlights what those intangible rewards of team sports really are."