I am seeking assistance from someone at some level of government who can explain why there has been such a delay in receiving flood disaster assistance?
Brandon youth soccer has filed claims with Provincial Excess Moisture Economic Stimulus Program and Provincial Emergency Measures Organization Disaster Relief Program but (to date) has received no funding.
If youth soccer would have even received a portion of funding, we might have been able to get the soccer park functioning again by 2013. The delay is keeping kids from playing soccer.
As you probably know, Brandon Optimist Soccer Park is owned by Brandon Youth Soccer Association.
Funding for the park and youth operations rely on parents registering their children in the sport. That same money is now stretched, as it is being used to rebuild the park.
With the one-in-300-year flood, 11 soccer pitches became unusable.
Inches of river silt killed the grass and wiped out the drainage and irrigation.
The pump house washed away, the washroom/storage facility needs to be overhauled.
We had outlined $117,752.50 as the cost to revive the park. Right now, kids are playing on school fields throughout Brandon (we are very grateful for that).
This temporary fix is exhausting our resources as 10 sites are harder to maintain than one site. We have been left to our own resources to rebuild the soccer park, and it is causing hardship to the youth and volunteers.
I cannot imagine who else might be in the same predicament as youth soccer. If funding continues to be delayed, is it anticipated that the need might just go away?
We understand that the senior men’s soccer league has been reduced to five teams, as many senior players could not afford to drive to Shilo; that was their “fix” for lack of playing facilities.
We, in youth, are on the verge of the same thing happening. This is a plea for someone in government to step in.
We can do the work, we just need what others in Manitoba have already received and we have been promised — flood disaster assistance.
Please remember, the largest user group for our organization is younger than five years old. These are Timbits soccer players.
We need government to be supportive of our youth. I am submitting this as a parent and citizen of Brandon.
I am part of youth soccer, but I believe the issue has gone beyond that now.
Where is the flood assistance?
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 29, 2012