A rough start to soccer season for the Brandon Youth Soccer Association has parents outraged over cancelled games and a lack of equipment and information.
The soccer community took to social media on Friday, reaching out to other parents in attempt to find answers in the sudden absence of a BYSA Facebook page.
A thread spiralled into complaints of cancelled games and a lack of jerseys, equipment, and manpower. Eager volunteers also responded, saying their offers to help out went unanswered.
"My husband was more than willing to coach, so he called the office (no answer, left a voicemail, no return call), and sent an email (also not responded to)," one parent wrote. "So far, of the four scheduled games, three have been cancelled. Kids showed up at the first game, no jerseys. We understand these things can happen, however, with a $140 registration fee, I feel the BYSA has a responsibility to send out an email to parents keeping us updated as to why games are cancelled, or why the jerseys are not here yet. Parents have been told nothing, and neither have coaches."
Another parent also expressed disappointment with the BYSA, writing, "When u spend close to $400 to register two children for an organized sport, there's an expectation of a quality program that lives up to their obligations — jerseys, equipment, teams … Not a free for all where kids show up to a game with no coach, no jerseys, no balls."
When reached for comment, BYSA chair Brian Cornick said that he had been away for the last two weeks, but that their executive director, Margaret Ireland, runs the day-to-day operations, including scheduling the games and ordering jerseys.
The BYSA has been using Brandon School Division fields, Ireland said, since their fields are flooded.
The recent game cancellations were due to BSD’s fields being too wet, Ireland said.
"We comply in their rules and regulations and we have no say if the school division decides that the school grounds are too wet for soccer … they’ll cancel our games and that’s just the way it is," Ireland said.
As for makeup games, Ireland said she is waiting to hear from the board whether they will be rescheduled.
"That is a board decision, not mine … I’m waiting to have a board meeting this month to get my direction," she said.
As for the jersey snafu, Tim Hortons — who pays for the jerseys — only delivered the uniforms on Thursday evening, Ireland said, adding that parents and coaches had the option to pick up jerseys and equipment on Friday. Otherwise, they were to be handed out at games on Monday evening.
The BYSA is still short volunteers, Ireland said, however she refused to comment further on the matter.
» Twitter: @erindebooy