EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — On Saturday, the East Palestine youth basketball league played a game at the elementary school.

With concerns about safety, basketball teams from out of town refused to visit the village for competition.

East Palestine Youth Sports Association director Matt Werner believes the gym is safe and that competition should continue. He says he understands there is a lot of concern about coming to the village, but he believes the conditions are fine.

“Basketball is one of many things in this town that brings people together,” says Werner. “To try to stay away from that or try to stay out of our town and cancel things that are going to make us feel normal again … that’s going to tear us apart. That’s not what we need.”

Werner says East Palestine teams from all age groups have been working extremely hard.

“We need support, we need people to know it’s OK to be here,” Werner says.