The Burns Lake Youth Soccer Club held its annual general meeting on Oct. 13, to discuss plans for spring of 2022, when they hope to return to play.
The club hasn’t had organized practices or games since the spring 2019 due to COVID-19, something Club President Steve Davis hopes to change.
“We’re planning on having a season. B.C. Soccer has been able to have a successful season in a lot of placers around the province, obviously it will depend on where the government is with COVID-19 but other leagues and teams are going full steam ahead so we don’t think there will be any issues,” said Davis.
The club was planning on having a season this past spring, however a mix up with B.C. government health regulations caused it to fall apart.
“Basically, in the spring, we were planning a season to have at the very least practice sessions and training to keep kids and parents engaged, and we told that what we were planning wasn’t going to work. Three weeks later, the the rules changed for organized sports in the province , but at that point it would have been to difficult to do a complete 180 and get a season planned,” Davis explained.
Without having a season since 2019, Davis told Lakes District News that it’s been very difficult to run the club because the league and the team have been out of people’s minds, so getting volunteers for coaching and executive positions is a major problem.
The main focus of the meeting was the concern about the executive board. According to Davis, player participation isn’t an issue for the club. At its peak a few years ago, the club had over 300 kids involved, fielding teams from U6 all the way to U18. In their last year before the pandemic, there were still over 200 kids participating, and despite the COVID-19 hiatus, Davis believes those numbers can be reached once again.
“The problem we face isn’t a lack of participation on the behalf of the kids, it’s a lack of participation at the executive level. We had a disappointing turnout at our annual general meeting, we advertised and put out the word on social media, we only had one new person, who said she would be interested in being on the executive board,” said Davis.
“The biggest issue is getting volunteers to be involved in running the association. We’re down to bear bones and no one seems to be interested in administration. It will be very difficult to keep soccer going in this town if things don’t change, which is a terrible thing for our community. Soccer is the best sport for a wide range of players in terms of accessibility. There isn’t a cost for equipment. you don’t have to worry about ice time. It’s a great sport for everybody to be able to access.”
In terms of coaching, Davis says that he anticipates it could be a challenge to find volunteers as well, though recruitment for new coaches wont happen until 2022.
“With coaches it’s still hard to tell, we will do some sort of a training session for new coaches, we’re hoping that in the younger age groups we have a lot of parents who want to step up.”
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