Some months of build up and today was our season opener! Way back in October or November I had approached the entire homeschooling community (in all of Chicago and surrounding suburbs) about starting a region-wide homeschooling youth soccer league (HYSL it has come to be known). From my original email I had over 60 responses! It was quite an out-pouring that I thought, “well certainly this has some potential!” From there I had put together a yahoo group where interested families could join and get updates on the process of HYSL (membership there is up near 150! Yea!). In January I had called an all-volunteers meeting to wage interest and recruit some fantabulous parent volunteers. I was in need coaches, assistant coaches and team parents. The response from this meeting was very sound and I was excited to see that we could, at a minimum, cover at least the South, Far North and North at that time. Later we acquired a West volunteer as well, so we were up to 4 regions!
Onward and upward to our registration and coaches training. It was announced region-wide that registration was open and forms started spilling in. It was really exciting to see just how many wanted to participate! My initial goals for starting this whole thing were not only the interest of my own children and our family, but to accommodate families with several children wanting to play (scheduling), being affordable to all who wanted to play, AND building homeschooling communities amongst a broader group of people. And when registrations started coming in, it was such a thrill to see that was actually coming to fruition!
Our coaches training hosted 15 individuals all eager to help out in each of their respective regions. It was a thrill to have them all there and to see just how committed parents were to helping me get this off the ground! Without these amazing volunteers, this really wasn’t going anywhere! So for that, I thank THEM tremendously! It was all coming together!!
The final step was to accumulate our membership fees and create my budget for all of our coaching equipment. When all said and done, each region received a first aid kit, flags, cones, scrimmage pinnies, goalie jersey(s) and glove(s) and whistles! Tremendous!
Today was our first practice for most regions. South and North had their practices this AM, while Far North met this afternoon. West starts in the near future. Reports all around, so far, are that people had as much fun as our family did! : ) We truly enjoyed! Our three Chicago North coaches did a fabulous job! I was so excited and thrilled to see them out there on the fields with the kids. (Tons of pic’s below of Chicago North’s practice!) Then SBJ, the kids and I drove on up to Mundelein to help the Far North region get off the ground running. They have some volunteers needing help in getting practices in order and SBJ is helping me help them to get up and running. That too was a fabulous practice! It was great to get to meet all of the families up in that region as well!
I’m so thrilled that this has come together so smoothly. I can’t thank my volunteers enough. I think the major highlight of the day was when my not-so-sporty child said to me, “Mommy…. thank you SO much for starting this soccer league. I had so much fun today.”
I can’t wait for our first region-wide tournament!!!