As we approach the week of Thanksgiving, I am looking back at my first 5 months as the president of the board and realizing how grateful I am to be part of a wonderful soccer community. In the spring I helped organize and coach in our community program and this fall I had the utmost pleasure of coaching a team of outstanding kids in our travel program. And as I reflect back on these experiences I am struck by the amazing complexity of it all. Imagine a puzzle with an unknown number of pieces that can be put together in any number of ways with the goal of keeping kids engaged, safe and healthy while doing an activity that challenges them both personally and as a group. It is a daunting task, but one that thousands of kids, parents, volunteers and professionals come together to solve year after year. That is something to be thankful for.
In a world where there is conflict and disagreement all around us, it should bring tremendous joy and hope to us all to see a diverse set of people come together to create a fun and exciting environment for kids of all ages to learn, grown and thrive through the game of soccer. And it really is a team effort on a grand scale. Inside our own club, kids, parents, coaches, referees, administrators, and volunteers all come together to organize teams, hold tryouts, bring kids to practices and games, plan training session, educate each other, provide outreach programs, and thousand of other tasks needed to run a youth soccer club. We partner with local government to make sure we have fields and the equipment needed to play. Local sponsors provide essential funding and support asking very little in return. We work closely with our partner clubs in providing opportunity and pathways for our kids to excel and progress toward dreams that many of us had when we were young. And hundreds, if not thousands, of clubs come together to play in leagues and tournaments across the state and nation, all to provide opportunity for kids to experience the joy of soccer, the biggest and best team sport in the world.
So with this wondrous and amazing group effort in mind, the board and I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to parents, kids, grand-parents, volunteers, administrators and staff, trainers and coaches, referees, local partners and sponsor, other clubs and everyone else that is involved in making each and every year the best possible experience. May you all have a great Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!