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Youth Sports Politics: One Mom's Fight to Make A Travel Soccer Program More Inclusive

  • Work to foster a stronger bond between the club and the community. In our opinion, more families would have a positive attitude towards the club, and be more willing to donate money and time, if they thought that you were responsive to their concerns and represented the entire community, not some small, elite, secretive group. Among the steps we suggest you take are holding an Opening Day in the Fall and Spring (like Youth Baseball), with clinics, exhibitions, team photos etc.. Holding Opening Days can't but help to improve town spirit and get everyone feeling like they are involved.

  • Run coaches clinics in the Fall and Spring. Obviously, the certification program run by MYSA is important, but it should not end there.

  • In closing, please know that, as we have said before, we will do anything to advance soccer in the town for all children. We hope that we can work out our differences so that our sons can rejoin the No-Name Soccer Club for the Spring season. (In the meantime, they are, your letter notwithstanding, most definitely representing our town in the Middlesex Youth Soccer League and enjoying the experience immensely.)

    Please let us know when we can sit down to discuss our concerns. If you feel that it would be helpful, a number of members of the Board of Directors of the Middlesex Youth Soccer League have offered to serve as mediators to facilitate our discussions. Since we need to know soon whether it is going to possible to go forward together instead of separately, we would appreciate your prompt response.

    I know that many of the views expressed in this letter are shared by others in our town and throughout the nation. If we can talk about our ideas and start a dialogue, I am confident that changes can be made which will be beneficial to all children who want to play. All that it will take is for the No-Name Soccer Club to strive toward inclusion, rather than tolerate a policy of exclusion.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


    Brooke deLench

    1 The statement in your letter that our teams do not "represent" our Town is not only totally presumptuous on your part but confirms our suspicion that you do not deem our players up to your arbitrary "standards" and, for that reason, should be denied the opportunity to play travel soccer. That our BU-10 and BU-12 teams are, after two games, undefeated in the same league in which your teams play debunks this argument.