New winter home for North Country youth soccer players
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - Youth soccer players in New York’s North Country have found a home for the winter after their previous space was declared unusable. A new partnership making it all possible.
When Plattsburgh officials declared the Crete Civic Center unusable after an electrical fire, more than 1,000 area soccer players and their families were left without a place to play over the cold winter months.
“Having that indoor space is essential to getting through our long winters and providing safe and healthy activities for youth and adults,” said Steve Peters, the founder of Adirondack Coast Sports.
Now, they’ve found a solution. The Plattsburgh YMCA is teaming up with Adirondack Coast Sports to provide a temporary venue for youths and adults taking part in indoor field sports this winter.
“We’re really excited about this and glad that it was able to come to fruition,” said Justin Ihne, the CEO of the Plattsburgh YMCA.
The gymnasium of the former CVPH Wellness Center and the future home of the YMCA will be transformed into a temporary, turfed indoor field.
“We were able to carve out this space in the gym that’s over there for the program to happen... that’s a big part of what the Y does and we’re happy to be a part of that always to partner with other agencies and community to be able to provide different programming,” Ihne said.
Peters was the one to present the proposal to the YMCA.
“This partnership with the YMCA really just makes sense,” he said.
Peters says he just wanted to make sure he wouldn’t let down his players.
“It’s no secret I really felt a lot of that burden of, you know, being responsible for all these children... By far it’s the most popular and most well-used sports program in our region. It’s a great thing to be able to put them in a spot where we know we’re going to have a great partner and a good home for the winter,” he said.
Plattsburgh Mayor Chris Rosenquest says he’s happy the YMCA was able to fill the gap the Crete Center once provided. As for the future of the center, there are still lots of unknowns. He released a statement to WCAX News that said, in part: “The Council and Mayor’s office are looking for ways to proceed when it comes to the future of the Crete. At this time, both the funding and demolition consultant approval still needs to go before this Council. We’re hoping to have a path forward before the end of the year.”
But even though the partnership with the YMCA has solved the problem for now, it’s still just a temporary solution.
“It is up in the air,” Peters said. “We’re going to have to do something similar next year. But that gives us a little bit of lead time taking care of the kids that we can take care of now, and then work on any number of solutions for subsequent years.”
Registration for the Adirondack Coast Sports 2022-2023 winter soccer season begins on Nov. 14.
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