Soccer program searching for volunteers

By Abe Winter Star Staff Writer

The numbers are down when it comes to youth soccer and it has nothing to do with the amount of snow covering the pitch(es) these days.

It’s not in the amount of players, either. Rather, it’s the number of volunteers needed to operate the Miles City Youth Soccer Association.

That’s the message from Chad Sutter, president of MCYSA. In both 2016 and 2017 he sent letters to everyone on file with the program via GotSoccer, pleading for the need for more help and volunteers.

“We are faced with the same issues to this day. We are still short of volunteers to help keep the programs going,” he said.

At a recent meeting, though, a dozen who are parents of soccer enthusiasts showed up. Sutter hopes all will provide help and many will join the board of directors that has dwindled to four.

Those serving include Sutter; Maddy Roberts, director of competition; Traci Vosler, treasurer; and Heather Martell, registrar. The terms of all but Vosler expire this year. Typically, the board has 8-10 members.

“We need a large number of volunteers for behind the scenes business and work required to keep our programs,” Sutter said.

“There has been a steady decline in volunteerism, a continued decrease in the number of people that check a volunteer item at registration, and an increase in those that ‘just can’t make it’ when contacted. We are at a crossroads as we go into the spring season for 2018.”

He did express optimism of having a spring program. “With the people who stepped up at the meeting, I think we will have Rec in the spring,” Sutter said. “But we still need more help.”

Spring is less than a month away and about 400 kids typically play each year through three seasons — spring and fall outdoors and winter indoors. There also are summer camps that the program subsidizes.

Thus, the need for more volunteers. The board would dole out specific needs and new volunteers would have to get the work done.

“We are not alone with this problem,” he states. “It is a fact nationwide for soccer and other sports and activities, including school programs.”

Sutter is asking for help immediately, especially from parents of soccer players. “Your help,” he says, “is essential to your kids’ success and participation.”

Volunteers are needed in several areas — coaching, refereeing, raising money and organizing among others. Coaches and referees will be taught — experience not necessary. Also, there is education required in concussion testing and sexual misconduct. Plus, every person who will have contact with the kids must submit to a background check.

Last year’s fund-raising raffle, which normally would bring in $8,000 to $10,000, wasn’t held because of a lack of interest. It would help to have it again.

“If everyone just does a little piece, if we get enough hands to do the work, it’s not too hard,” Sutter said, adding that statewide about 40 percent of the pool of 600 referees must be replaced each year.

“It’s the same thing here, probably 50 percent,” Sutter said.

If interested in maintaining what has been a successful program, contact the MCYSA as soon as possible. Their e-mail address is mcpossesoccer@gmail.com.

“We are at a crossroads as we go into the spring season for 2018.”
— Chad Sutter MCYSA President

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