The gravity of the present moment is hard to grasp as none of us have ever lived through a pandemic of this magnitude. Things that felt solid are now fluid; in this space between what was and what is to come, we want to take this opportunity to communicate two things to our membership 1) why we do what we do 2) how we hope to navigate the public health crisis posed by COVID-19.
Currently, the near-term future is uncertain. The leagues we play in and the national soccer bodies that oversee our leagues are struggling to try to figure out whether there will be a Spring season and subsequent post-season play. Typically, our Spring season starts up in late March but clearly that was not possible this year. As of now, NEFC’s Spring season has been suspended until May 4th. There is the possibility that the spring season gets postponed later into May or June and could run into the summer. Whether we have a Spring season is an unanswerable question until our public health officials and governing soccer bodies determine when it is safe to resume activities.
Developing youth players both on the field and off the field is the essence of our business, running a soccer club is a humbling endeavor by nature. Being a not for profit organization we will continue to do what we can to help those families in underserved communities. A big thank you goes out to all those who helped raise money for our third annual fundraiser. Those funds are earmarked for those members with the greatest financial need as we navigate this crisis. We will announce the fundraiser winner of $10,000 cash on April 13th at 12pm EST. Hopefully, this provides something to look forward to during these uncertain times.
We often remark how crazy it all seems when the Spring season starts. In normal times many of you are torn in many directions between taking players to games, team practices, and technical sessions. Now, however, we are facing the prospect that many of those events may not happen or at least will be postponed. The prospect of that void is both sad and unnerving.
The anxiety is multiplied. It is a fear for the safety of your family and friends, the loss/delay of human connections; it is a concern for our team, and it is the unknowing of how and when this will all settle.
So, what are we going to do about this?
We are going to weather this storm. We have assembled a talented, diverse, resilient team of professionals— We have created a central hub of digital learning on our website (www.NEFC.us/Stayactive) that includes full athletic workouts, individual technical skills, and contests for players to stay active with. Through social media we are releasing content each day to keep players engaged including challenges, live shows, movie discussion, video tutorials, and infographics.
We are going to take care of our people. Many workers in our industry have already been furloughed. But it is in this uncertain moment that investing in our people is the single most important thing we can do. We are going to get through this, together.
We will strictly follow public health guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19, and will act once public health officials and our governing bodies deem it safe for large gatherings to convene. We expect those guidelines to evolve as we learn more about this disease; but for the safety of both the general public and our staff, we are committed to doing all that we can to mitigate the virus's impact.
We have a committed and dedicated membership of over 3000 families. It is NEFC’s goal to make sure we provide value to our membership during these uncertain times. We will provide developmentally appropriate learning plans to our players so they can train individually until we can be back on the field and following our passion together.
We miss you and will do everything we can to stay connected- as a club, region and as individual teams throughout this everchanging time.