FDSA President’s Message 2018
2017 was a great year for FDSA, its members and the city of Fredericton! We moved to our new office, had some of our competitive teams place well in Provincials, hosted U17 Nationals, and welcomed 4 fantastic soccer legends! It was an exhausting but rewarding year for our FDSA family.
The U17 Canada Soccer National Championships were held this past fall – over 5 days and 3 venues in Fredericton. It took volunteers many months of planning and organizing to pull off such a successful event. FDSA is fortunate to have a strong support system that includes our community of dedicated volunteers, our wonderful sponsors, our encouraging city, and our steadfast province. Thanks to the combined efforts of all, Nationals was an exceptionally positive experience for everyone involved!
Only a few weeks later, FDSA welcomed iS4 to its Weekend of Empowerment! IS4 is comprised of Canada’s top female soccer players: Christine Sinclair, Rhian Wilkinson, Diana Matheson, and Karina LeBlanc. For me, it was an honor to meet these great soccer ambassadors. They travel the world representing Canada at the highest level of soccer and came to our club to bring their message of inspiration and empowerment to kids and adults alike! This event was made possible through support from our sponsorship community and our volunteers who worked with unmeasurable dedication to make this event a success.
Our winter program is currently underway! Through our partnership with UNB and the West Region Soccer New Brunswick, FDSA can offer a successful winter program making soccer possible all year long.
Our grass roots programs (Micro, Mini and Youth) are designed to get kids moving to improve and develop motor, cardio and social skills. These programs have been established to develop the foundations of soccer, the 1+1 of football. As a parent or guardian, these programs will also give you an opportunity to volunteer- If you do not know anything about soccer, it’s the best opportunity to start. There will be plenty of support to help guide you along.
Our FDSA Volunteers are priceless! They give countless hours to help grow this fantastic game within our community. Without them, FDSA would not be able to provide the great programs our children experience day in and day out. I fully understand that volunteering is a huge time commitment, but I have come to realize, that those who have volunteered have brought with them a huge gift: their time and their hearts. Thank you!
It’s also important to recognize and thank our community sponsors. Without them, many of our programs would not be possible. Fredericton boasts one of the highest field costs in the province. Only with the strong support from our corporate sponsors are we able to keep programming fees at the levels they are today. If you know a great sponsor that’s looking to make a difference in our community, FDSA is a great partner!
With a new year also comes a few changes to our Board of Directors. We would like to welcome our new program Directors: Susan Harris (Youth Program), Renée Erb (Mini Program) and David Erb (Micro Program). We also have a new Treasurer, Ryan MacVicar and a new Director of Officials, Gavin Brown. Welcome to the FDSA Family! We would also like to thank our past members, former Treasurer Karen Grant and Past President, Dominic Blakeley for their many years of dedication.
FDSA will also be making some adjustment to our competitive program in 2018. There was a comprehensive review of our competitive program conducted a few months ago. All stakeholders were engaged to contribute their point of view on what we are doing correctly, where the shortcomings are and how we can improve as a club. I was truly surprised at the large numbers of participants in various sessions. This is a clear indication of how important our programs are to our members. It is also clear the athletes want better programming at all levels and parents/guardians are concerned about program costs and content.
Another key point that came out of the competitive review was need for additional support for our youth referees in our game. They need more support to build confidence so they can do a better job. We have pledged to make it one of this year’s priorities at FDSA to help with the development of officiating with a youth mentorship program and a “respect” campaign. As most of our initiatives, it depends largely on our volunteers and our community support for success. We hope that when called upon, you will do your best to support this program.
Remember, this year is a World Cup Year. From June 14th to July 15th FIFA World Cup will be hosted in Russia where they will play 64 games to decide the world champion. Make sure your kids are watching the games, it’s one of the best ways they can learn how the game is played. Don’t forget to stay tuned to our social media feeds, as FDSA will have events where we can enjoy the beautiful game together.
Finally, I hope to meet as many of our FDSA members as I can over the coming year and would like to hear your thoughts of how we are doing and suggestions on where we can improve.
See you all at the pitch!
Yours in Soccer,
Siegfried A. L .Mehlitz (Siggi)