I'm very sorry to do this, but I am cancelling our soccer meetups for the immediate future. I've been doing some research and I just think the risks of potentially spreading the coronavirus are too high.
I appreciate that we are a relatively small group, and * trust me * this game gives all of us much needed joy, exercise, and camaraderie. But the reality is we have a pool of probably 250 people, hailing from all over the greater NYC area coming together 3 times a week in groups of 40-60 to exchange our blood sweat & tears (OK, maybe just sweat and some hi 5's).
As of yesterday there were 52 cases in NYC, but as you know testing has been abysmally limited, and they don't administer tests until folks are actively showing symptoms. You can go for many days infected and not showing any symptoms at all. So the total number of active cases is probably more in the hundreds or possibly even thousands. And when all of these cases start showing symptoms and needing medical care, our hospitals and doctors offices will be overrun; poor, homeless, elderly, underemployed, underinsured will be disproportionately hurt. . . I fear for the wellness of our city.
I strongly feel that anything we can do to curb the spread of the virus throughout our communities will have a significant impact.
I love you all. I'm hoping and praying that we get through this very soon, and can resume games as soon as possible.
In solidarity -
Here's what separates this group from many others:
• Chill, positive attitudes.
• No tolerance for aggressive behavior or for complaining about other people's play.
• We won't ever over-crowd a game. The size of pitch we use is best suited for 7v7. We're happy to make the pitch smaller if numbers are low. We'll sometimes make it bigger to accommodate more people. But we prefer 7v7... not 10v10.
• The small fee we ask of each player (at least $3 per session) supports a great program that the Soccer Project has worked with since 2011: The Wishi Project (http://www.wishi.org).
We first helped The Wishi Project to construct part of a new school for a remote, rainforest village (Wishi) in Ecuador. Then we helped staff the school and supply it with such crucial resources as books and electricity. Soon thereafter, we contributed funds and our knowhow to the construction of an all-season soccer field at the school. This year (2018), we will be helping the village build a bridge that connects the community more safely to the school's locale. Your player-fees, this year, will go directly to Wishi for the building of this bridge.
Also, you have the opportunity to volunteer in Wishi this year, to help build this bridge. And while you're there, we'll be organizing a soccer tournament in which you can play!
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Please remember to RSVP (and to change your RSVP if your plans change). If you sign up and don't show up (thereby causing the game to have uneven numbers, or worse - making it so that there aren't enough people for a game), then you'll be swiftly shown the exit!
And PLEASE TAKE NOTE: If you like to moan and wine at others because you don't think they've made a good enough pass, this isn't the game for you. This game is for those who want a positive, welcoming experience!