Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref-Brooklyn, Staten Island) and Assemblyman Mike Reilly (R-South Shore) held a press conference on Friday calling on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to open public golf courses, tennis courts and allow permits for events such as Malliotakis annual Yoga on the Beach event. Joining Malliotakis and Reilly at Silver Lake Golf Course were Michael Tannousis, counsel to New York City Councilman Joe Borelli, President of the Staten Island Golf Association Danny Pizzuto and 5 Boro Power Yoga Owner/Director Karen Torrone, as well as local golfers, tennis players and residents. Attendees stressed the importance of recreation for physical and mental health, especially as the weather improves, as well as the fact that golfing is currently allowed in Connecticut, New Jersey and upstate New York.
As the temperature climbs and days become longer the residents of our great city are sure to exhibit a natural desire for outdoor recreational activity for both physical and mental health, said Malliotakis. Just as we encouraged Gov. Cuomo to remove restrictions on outdoor work, we now recommend that Mayor de Blasio consider relaxing restrictions on certain recreational activities where precautions and social distancing are possible, like using our public golf courses and tennis courts and issuing permits for activities like yoga on the beach. Its happening in Long Island, Upstate New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, everywhere but here in New York City.
We keep hearing those with diminished immune systems are at risk for COVID-19, but how can we expect anyone to increase their ability to fight infectious diseases when they are unable to stay healthy, get outside and exercise and improve their mental health, said Reilly. These activities are the main source of exercise for many citizens of New York City, especially our seniors. Confining them to their houses is not the answer, and is only exacerbating the problem.
State and local governments, health departments and golf associations have set forth rules and regulations to ensure the safest and cleanest environment to stem the spread of COVID-19, so why are our New York City public golf courses still closed? asked Pizzuto. These New York City public golf courses and facilities keep ties to the community, provide revenue to New York City, great jobs for the local workforce and offer a breath of fresh air while playing golf in the Big Apple. We must use the guidelines of the surrounding cities and states as a blueprint for the return to safe play.
Karen Torrone, owner of 5 Boro Power Yoga Studio, whom Malliotakis has partnered with since 2013 to provide free yoga on the beach for the community, said, We feel that allowing yoga on the beach will give the community access to health and wellness. This will help increase their lung capacity, help fight COVID and help ease anxiety and stress. The community is burned out using technology and outdoor exercise will provide a variety of benefits.
On behalf of tennis players in NYC, I urge the Mayor to open the public courts so we can get back on an exercise regimen and also improve our mental health by participating in outdoor activities. Its long overdue, said Cara Buonincontri, a local tennis player.