What a year and what a fall soccer season! Last year this time, when we wrote to you about the Club's changes, purpose, and culture, we were leading up to one of the biggest Spring season registration periods in our history. Now 12 months later, together we’ve weathered unprecedented circumstances and are again on pace for another big Spring registration period and, fingers crossed, another great season of soccer programming. Despite the unique challenges of 2020, our members have definitely stuck with us. The outpouring of support, whether in kind email messages or monetary donations, has been beautiful to see and has kept our nonprofit organization in a position to thrive in our mission of developing great players and people. A HUGE THANK YOU to all of our Players, Families, Coaches and Volunteers that have pulled us through a crazy year! In the Community We’ve stayed committed to our mission and this fall we supported ALL of our local high school boys and girls soccer programs in tough fall seasons through sponsorship. Our summer Soccer Against Hunger food drive in alignment with WKU Women’s Soccer yielded a nice haul for the Salvation Army and we’re very proud of our Club and Players for donating new and used soccer equipment to local organizations like Refuge BG Soccer Club and Curbside Ministries. We were also happy to donate shirts, shorts and socks to local schools and family resource centers. We had many community outreach plans squashed by the pandemic, however we will continue to build and execute plans as a Club to support our community and give back through soccer.
Partnerships and Sponsors As our culture has changed and our mission remains at the forefront of our actions, we’ve added numerous partnerships and sponsors over the last year. Our relationships have expanded with other sponsors as they’ve seen our work and want to be a bigger part of our impact on the community. The list continues to grow and we’re excited to be announcing additional partners very soon!
Programs Over the last year we’ve taken many cost saving measures including critical investments in technology that have and will continue to produce efficiencies. These savings enable us to keep program fees as low as any in the country and provide greater access to our high quality programs to ALL families in our community and surrounding areas. In the face of a pandemic, our programs have flourished thanks to our coaches, players and families working together to follow guidelines. We worked closely with KYSA and the City of Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department to align on appropriate measures, and successfully provide safe programming through each phase of returning to activities. We thankfully had no outbreaks or exposures resulting from our programs serving nearly 800 players this fall.
Pre-Academy once again had an phenomenal turnout for our youngest recreational players, especially considering the circumstances. Our Pre-Academy daytime program, “Goal Mornings”, was a success and offered stay at home parents an affordable activity to engage and teach young players the game of soccer. Our Junior Academy Youth Development Program had a record number of participants, more than doubling our previous year. We invested heavily in professional and licensed coaches for this program to provide the players the highest level of age appropriate technical development possible. Many of these players will follow our development pathway into the Academy Select Program, further strengthening the program and providing even more opportunities for players to achieve their desired goals through soccer. The Academy Select program momentum has been incredible since the beginning of the Fall 2019 season. The shift in our culture has yielded significant results in the number of participants, coaches, and parents wanting to be a part of SKY Soccer Club. The success of the teams this fall was fantastic with many tournament finalists,champions, and top finishes in league play. For the second year in a row we’ve had a record supplemental tryout response and are building bigger and stronger rosters in all of our age groups. This includes players that previously moved to other clubs in the region, now coming back to SKY and/or making it known they’ll be back next year. We recognize and believe that player development is far more than teaching kids the technical and tactical components of the game, and our efforts to engage our players in something bigger are paying off for the players and our community.
What’s Next Our Indoor Winter Recreational and Junior Academy Program registration is open. Go to our website for more information. If you’d like to participate, sign up right away, as there are very limited remaining spots available. If the COVID mandates aren’t lifted, which currently include no indoor group training, we will refund all registered participants once we are refunded our field rental fees from Total Fitness Connection. Academy Select Teams will continue to hone their skills through indoor winter training and indoor tournaments over the course of the winter. Spring Recreational Soccer Registration will begin January 1st. The Spring Recreational season will kick off in March. Want to be a part of what we’re doing? Volunteer, donate, or become a sponsor if you want to be a part of our mission of developing great players and people to enhance the community we serve. For more information about how you can be involved, check out our website, www.skysoccer.org. We are ready to say goodbye to 2020 and look forward to continuing to serve our community for the year 2021. As always, thank you for your continued support.