CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools resumed sports and extracurricular activities Monday. Football, basketball, cheerleading, lacrosse and soccer all began practices.
Art programs like music and theater will also start back up.
It comes as CMS students are set to resume in-person learning next week.
The announcement also came as local pediatricians reported seeing more children who are gaining weight during the pandemic.
The so-called “Quarantine-15” is showing up in children as young as 7 or 8 years old, local health care providers said.
“We are certainly not only seeing adults experiencing the pandemic pounds but we are seeing it in children as well,” said family medicine physician Karla Robinson.
Robinson cited depression as one key reason for the rise in weight gain.
“Mental health has been I think the most underrated aspect of the pandemic,” she said.
But, Robinson said, the more obvious culprits are also to blame: children are at home with more access to snacks, and are less likely to be engaged in sports or other physical activity.
“Our kids are kind of feeling those effects in a negative way,” Robinson said. “When children find they’re gaining weight, that leads to bullying, that leads to teasing, that leads to all these other emotional health issues.”
Robinson said she welcomes the return to organized sports, provided it is done in a safe manner.
“I think with the open mindset of ‘hey, this is sports, but it may be sports repackaged or sports in a different fashion,’ then I think we can certainly be open to reaping the benefits that sporting activities can bring,” Robinson said. “But just be mindful of it in a safe way.”