Despite calls from parents and sports organizations, non-professional sports remain in a lingering time out.

Parents will be hitting the snooze button early Saturday morning for the twelfth weekend in a row. Sports and gyms are excluded from the province's Saturday reopening instructions.

There are minor exclusions to this which include some professional sports including Olympic athletes and the Winnipeg Jets.

Many organizations, including the Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League, were hoping for a resumption of their activities.

"Organized sport plays an important role in coordinating and facilitating physical activity and social interaction for children and youth," Commissioner Levi Taylor says in a letter to the province.

The province is waiting on the results of the three-week reopenings before allowing sports to continue. 

"I think we are going to have to see with the rest of that opening," Dr. Jazz Atwal, Manitoba's Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, says. 

Taylor is arguing that the benefits of hockey are great, noting that the AAA league had zero cases of COVID-19. He says they were very careful to clean and keep players apart.

"Physical activity and social interaction contribute to the health of individuals and are essential for healthy growth and development of children and youth. Physical activity helps prevent and reduce the effects of depression, stress, and anxiety," he says. "It increases energy levels, helps maintain a healthy body, and improves sleep quality. Social interaction contributes to the development of interpersonal skills, relationships, and emotional capacity."

Atwal agrees with the benefits of sports and physical activity for all aspects of health. He says sports and gyms are important.

"There is plenty of opportunities to exercise and partake in those activities outdoors," he says. "People can go running outside, they can take a walk, they can go skating at the present time, tobogganing."

He says the province understand the restrictions have an impact on mental health, but that they are balancing with the healthcare effects from spreading COVID-19.