DOBSON — A critical shortage of volunteers is threatening the county’s soccer program this year, Parks and Recreation Director Daniel White said.
“Without volunteers, I don’t foresee a soccer program in the county this season,” he said dejectedly Wednesday afternoon.
White said he has “exhausted all avenues” in trying to secure a person to oversee the county’s soccer program that is affiliated with the Northern Triad Soccer Club.
“We have done everything we think we can do,” he said. “The county’s recreation advisory committee has submitted a couple of names that haven’t worked out, we’ve advertised the need for volunteers and have even put notices on our local television channels. “
All to no avail, White added.
In an effort to secure suitable candidates, White approached the Board of Commissioners during its last meeting asking for a little bit of money to sweeten the offer.
The board approved a stipend, which White says shouldn’t be confused with a paycheck.
“The board authorized a range of funding to help spur us finding a volunteer,” he said. “It shouldn’t be looked at as a salary for the position, but as a way to reimburse the person for fuel and materials associated with administering the soccer program.”
The amount of money available for the position will be determined once the candidate is selected.
White said the county is seeking a recreation coordinator that would answer to the Northern Triad Soccer Club and coordinate between the organization, the county parks and recreation department and the coaches involved in the league.
In addition, to have a soccer program this year the county needs coaches and field workers.
“Without finding volunteers, we don’t see the county soccer program happening this season,” he said.
The perfect candidate will have experience with sports, and not necessarily soccer.
“We want someone with the skills to organize, work with groups and bring other people to the table to help the program,” White said. “Not only do we need to fill the coordinator’s position, but we need coaches, assistant coaches and field workers to do things like line the field.”
And White said that with more than 200 young people participating last year, the program is worth continuing.
“Anything we can do for our youth in the area I’d like to see continue,” he said. “I think it’s important to the health and well-being of the community and its children. Participating in sports teaches morals, values and sportsmanship. That’s the value of an athletic program.”
He said he needs volunteers “yesterday.”
“The season starts in the next several weeks, so we really have to do something pretty quickly.”
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.