‘Adult social sports’ in Fresno provide relief from COVID-19 isolation

KSEE Sunrise

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — In the last two years, many say the pandemic has taken a mental toll on many people who have isolated themselves from social situations in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

However, many say isolation has left many craving social interaction entering the beginning of a new year.

A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed a group of 5,470 adults and found that those with anxiety have tripled from a sampling from the previous year, and those with depression have quadrupled.

A condition known as ‘touch starvation’ may develop in some due to lengthened isolation and physical distancing during the pandemic, according to WebMD. When the human body doesn’t receive enough physical touch through human interaction, it can cause your body to make a hormone called cortisol. This can lead to various health complications such as heart rate, blood pressure, and can take a toll on your immune system.

To ease the negative social impacts of COVID-related isolation, two Central Valley men are looking to help adults in the area with what they call “adult social sports.”

Luis Parrales and Eric De Jong grew up in the Central Valley, and they say they want to help Fresno adults meet people.

“Our main flagship sport is kickball,” says De Jong. “We have all kinds of adults that come out, seriously, doctors, lawyers, grocery clerks, you know, the whole range of people.”

They say the goal is to take those fun activities many people enjoyed in school such as bowling, kickball, and taking field trips, and give adults that same experience.

The group even organizes social pub crawls, which they consider an actual sport.

For more information, you can visit Fresno Social Sports.

In the South Valley, 1852 Visalia tries to stick with the same concept merging community soccer and brews.

According to its website, the facility will offer fields for recreational, semi-competitive, and competitive players of ‘footy’, which is a modified version of soccer using Australian rules.

A connected taproom will offer visitors a chance to enjoy a cold beverage while others enjoy the game.

The facility is expected to finish construction in late Spring 2022.

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