Fellow HYSA Members,
Given the uncertainty of the situation we are all dealing with, I thought I’d lend a little additional insight into our club’s direction moving forward in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking as the president of the club and someone who has been working on this issue consistently since the situation started, I want to let you know that our top priority has been to ensure a safe experience for all involved.
Our first goal was to try and salvage a spring season when that became impossible; our goal became how to provide a high-quality alternative experience during the summer for all of our players and their families.
First, I want to begin by commending Phil McGovern, our HYSA Executive Director, for leading the efforts to have an opportunity for our children to play the game. Phil has been on top of this since day one and has largely influenced MYSA’s direction in much of the path they’ve chosen. He is continuously in touch and gathering information from the Governor’s office and Lewis & Clark Public Health. He has been commended for his work and efforts by MYSA and other clubs for being at the forefront with communications to our club, HYSA. I speak with him multiple times a day in discussion about the actions we’re going to take and the information he’s routinely providing to our club members. HYSA has been contacted by numerous other local clubs for advice.
We are patient and have made timely and informed decisions as information has become available. While I know many of us would have loved to have answers sooner, it was simply impossible due to this constantly evolving situation. We had to wait and respond to the severity and spread of the virus and then wait for decisions from the State of Montana and then decide what we could do based on those directives. We needed to wait while MYSA and US Youth Soccer issued guidance on allowable activities and then plan for a possible salvageable spring season and alternatives.
We are very grateful for the understanding and support showed by the families in our program. This health crisis is impacting every facet of society, and we know we are not alone in trying to figure out how HYSA will survive this crisis.
We recognize the health risk and the emotional and financial strain on families associated with the virus. We are seeing the challenges to the players themselves – loss of fitness, skills, and the opportunity for high school and college players. The last consideration in our discussions was how this would impact the club financially.
We are moving forward with the latest Team Snap availability request to find out who is interested in what is now a summer season. Nobody is required to participate, and our summer season will likely be something much different than we’ve ever experienced, but our goal is to provide the best opportunity we can for those that want to participate. We recognize that not everyone will want or be able to play every weekend in June, July, and into early August. We are working with MYSA and other clubs to put this together, just as we do every season.
We understand that unprecedented times call for unprecedented solutions. I’m proud of the effort HYSA has been making. We are doing our best to provide a soccer opportunity for all who want one and still come out on the other side as a viable club. We are the only club in the state that owns our facility – while much of the time this has been great as we have the nicest fields in our state – however, at a time like this, it’s also a financial liability to maintain. For instance, we had our Well pump fail this week to the tune of $18,000.
We continue to discuss our options to members regarding payments, refunds, and vouchers, while trying to assess the financial consequences and how best to handle them to remain a viable club for our over 1,000 players. We appreciate your patience on this issue.
In closing, I thank you for being understanding and patient as we work through this myriad of issues and the shifting situation. Please reach out to me personally or Phil directly if you have any questions or concerns with HYSA.