Eastern New York Leagues Can Safely Bring Organized Soccer Back to New York City Parks
New York Soccer News: Our leagues have not yet received permits to play in New York City parks this fall, leaving thousands upon thousands of kids and their families wondering what to do.
The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) and its member leagues are coming together to fight the decision of New York City Parks and Recreation not to grant field permits for organized soccer activities for the kick-off of our Fall Season in September.
Now, there is a new petition to help raise awareness and fight for New York’s kids. It is a way to have your voice heard and help kids get back on the fields playing youth soccer — safely.
The Petition states, “New York City’s youth sports organizations provide recreational, athletic, and youth development programming that ensures the physical health, mental health, and social-emotional wellbeing of this city’s young people, children who represent every neighborhood and all socioeconomic backgrounds.”
For these programs to exist, they must use city fields and facilities operated by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.
Without permits to these fields, the lives of tens of thousands of children and young people will be impacted.
“In the midst of a global pandemic, an economic depression, and a rise in the city’s gun violence, it has never been more important to support the health and well-being of the next generation,” states the petition.
NYC Parks and Recreation Department will not issue field permits for the start of the Fall Season.
The e-mail that was sent from NYC Parks staff to permit applicants cited “health and safety concerns” as the reason for this decision.
Yet, with park fields still open to the public—most with little or no enforcement of social distancing, masks or crowds— our programs provide the best way to ensure that children and teenagers can make safe, supervised use of the fields in a way that adheres to city, state and CDC guidelines plus crowd restrictions.
Furthermore, the decision sends a startling message that the city will not permit outdoor youth recreational activities to return while bars, gyms, bowling alleys, and museums can all reopen.
This shortsighted decision will have a potentially devastating impact on New York City’s children and teens, including their physical, mental. and social-emotional health. In addition to helping youngsters maintain healthy lifestyles and learn important life skills, our programs also keep teens off the streets and engaged in positive activities with coach mentors and positive role models.
In the midst of a global pandemic, an economic recession and a dramatic rise in the city’s gun violence, it has never been more important to support the health and well-being of the next generation.
Without permits to these fields, our organizations will be unable to offer soccer, leaving a devastating hole in the lives of tens of thousands of children and teenagers.
We encourage all soccer players, coaches, refs and fans to sign this online petition to get organized soccer back in New York City parks.
We urge New York City Parks and Recreation to immediately reverse course and provide field permits to youth organizations in time for our Fall Season.
Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association: With 100,000 youth soccer players–both boys and girls–and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) reaches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with nine leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees, and administrators.