Estevan Youth Soccer is facing a major crisis this year as they struggle to find enough coaches for their teams. The season is set to begin on May 1, but if they cannot find enough coaches to sign up by April 23, they will be forced to cancel the entire season.
According to the President of Estevan Youth Soccer, Stacy Murphy, the organization has had a significant increase in registrations this year compared to last. In 2022, they had 270 kids registered to play, but this year they already have 325, with more people waiting to sign up. However, they cannot guarantee a spot for those waiting due to the shortage of coaches.
"We've had a great number of people step up already, but we still are short in quite a few of the age groups to have the season run," said Murphy.
The organization has been trying to get more people involved, including those who are not parents but want to help out. "We've had high school students and even some younger kids who aren't playing the sport but just want to help out," she said.
The requirements to become a coach are simple. If you're over the age of 18, you just have to have your criminal record check done. And then with any minor sport nowadays, you have to take your Respect in Sport training, which is free online.
"It is extremely unfortunate for those 325 kids that are registered because some of them won't get to have the opportunity to play a different sport during the spring slash beginning of summer," said Murphy. "And the unfortunate thing too is we can't pick and choose who's going to get to play and who doesn’t. So, the consensus with the board was that, if there aren't enough coaches at all of the age groups, then the entire soccer season will be cancelled for all of the age groups. So even if, for example, Youth 13 has enough coaches, if we don't get enough coaches in U5, no one plays."
Estevan Youth Soccer is encouraging anyone who is interested in coaching to sign up by April 23. You can sign up online through their website at estevanyouthsoccer.com
For more information visit Estevan Youth Soccer on their Facebook page.