IMPORTANT: Letter to Duxbury Planning Board Regarding Fields
Dear DYSA families,
As many of you know, the Town of Duxbury is in the midst of developing a long-range plan for our town. A big piece of this plan relates to Duxbury's future plans for open space and recreational / athletic fields. I recently wrote a letter (please see below) to Duxbury's Planning Board expressing the thoughts of the DYSA Board of Directors as well as many other DYSA fanilies that have shared their concrens about the state of our fields.
I ask that each of you consider writing a similar letter ASAP to the Town of Duxbury Planning Board with your thoughts on the subject -- there is a very small window of time when we have a chance to help influence how the Town of Duxbury will allocate future resources for athletic fields. This is something that will have a very material impact on the enjoyment, safety, and well-being of your children while they play sports of any kind in Duxbury for many years to come. The email address for the Planning Board Director, Valerie Massard, can be found here: https://www.town.duxbury.ma.us/people/valerie-massard-aicp-cfm
Here is the letter we sent:
Planning Director Valerie Massard
I am the President of Duxbury Youth Soccer and I reside in Duxbury with my wife and three young sons, and I'm writing this letter on behalf of the Duxbury Youth Soccer Association (“DYSA”). DYSA’s Board of Directors also all live in town and collectively have 25 children in the Duxbury school system and involved in recreational athletics in the Town of Duxbury. Further, DYSA has between 600 and 700 young families involved in our programs each year — each of these families resides in Duxbury. It is fair to say that most children in Duxbury play at least a few seasons of U6 or U8 soccer with us, and many continue their soccer careers with us while playing through high school. We are connected with almost all of the young families in Duxbury at one point or another through their engagement with soccer.
While we applaud the Planning Board’s efforts with respect to the long-range plan for the town, I thought it was appropriate to proactively share the thoughts of our members, since it appears that DYSA and other Duxbury youth sports organizations interests were not expressed or represented in Phase One. While there were approximately 1000 responses to the survey, there are over 600 families who participate in soccer and thousands that participate in youth sports generally; these opinions were not addressed. I will speak to the interests of soccer, but recognize these parallel the interests of other sports organizations as well.
As you may know, there is growing concern in Duxbury, particularly among those families with young children, that the Town of Duxbury’s long term plans will continue to ignore the huge need for additional athletic facilities while instead providing support for additional open space in our town. This critical concern is reflected in both 2015 studies which I understand you have been provided. Open space and athletic field needs should not be viewed as competing; both add significantly to the character of Duxbury. The fact is that Duxbury has a rich tradition of successful athletic programs and an enormous and growing need for more athletic resources to support just about every sport, and including soccer. Additional athletic fields are something we NEED to address as a growing safety concern rather than something we merely want.
We are certainly blessed to live in such a beautiful town with a quaint historical charm and an abundance of open space. However, thousands of residents and participants in all athletic endeavors would strongly argue that the town has not found an appropriate balance between maintaining open space and providing sufficient recreation resources. Participants play on drastically overused and under-maintained athletic fields. Open space is great, but young children need quality fields to support their physical development and athletic interests too.
Duxbury has perhaps the most limited athletic fields of any town on the south shore. As the President of DYSA, I am intimately familiar with fields and facilities throughout Massachusetts and beyond. Of comparable towns that I have visited Duxbury facilities are unfortunately at the bottom. On a Saturday or Sunday morning you would hear non-stop chatter amongst parents of how poor our fields are compared with other towns. Visiting teams are often shocked. It has gotten to the point that our teams prefer to play away and Duxbury has developed a reputation for poor fields among visiting teams.
To be clear, we do not blame the Duxbury Recreational Department or the town’s field maintenance crew — they work hard and do what they can with extraordinarily limited resources.
The real issue is that Town of Duxbury hasn’t provided resident users with sufficient athletic fields given the population, demographics, and recreational interests of the community. We live in a town full of young, active families that love sports and enjoy outdoor athletic activities. Duxbury has a long history of successful athletic programs balanced with strong academics as well as a historic coastal nature, which create a powerful draw for families. Given this, our current athletic fields are woefully insufficient to meet the demands placed on them by residents.
There are two primary approaches to solving this problem:
Create more athletic fields in Duxbury that are specifically available for use by Duxbury residents and town youth sports organizations. The High School fields are rented at a comparably high market price. Obviously (and understandably), these fields are used by Duxbury High School teams first and foremost. However, they are also often rented to non-Duxbury for-profit organizations with few if any Duxbury residents. Therefore, these fields are available to Duxbury youth sports on a very limited basis. It is hard to explain to participants why practices and games is cancelled due to weather when an out of town team is practicing on the high school turf. This type of scenario is all too common and demoralizing for all youth participants. The result is that Duxbury youth sports organizations are forced to contend with one another for the very limited remaining available time on the high school fields – a dynamic which is unhealthy and unfortunate.
Cover the existing fields we have with turf and put up lights so that we can extend use to evenings in the fall when we lose daylight early. We have 3 soccer fields in town that are available to the Duxbury Youth Soccer program, yet we have almost 1,000 players each fall. The earliest they get home from school is about 2:30pm for the Alden kids. It is impossible for us to arrange a simple soccer practice for many of them when it get dark so early in the fall. We can only fit so many on the fields at one time. Fields are often overcrowded creating safety concerns. I am aware that this is an issue which is also faced by youth football, youth lacrosse, and other programs. Lights would extend field use at Coppens / Chandler tremendously, but would not resolve maintenance and the need for field rest. The Coppens / Chandler Field is in terrible shape because it is overused — it is actually the worst field you will find including those in neighboring communities. In the summer it is shut down while the kids are out of school and looking to play. The situation is really untenable. Putting turf / synthetic grass on Coppens / Chandler would make the surface much, much better for soccer and would also allow us to use it almost all year long and longer each day. With the combination of lights like the ones on the baseball field at Coppens / Chandler (the poles and electricity are already there) we could improve the situation dramatically.
Perhaps the ideal solution is a combination of both approaches.
Please reconsider your long-term plan for the Town of Duxbury and to include sufficient resources for the town’s athletic fields. Generations of young children and their families are counting on the Planning Board to continue our rich tradition of successful athletic programs and support this critical need. Thank you and best regards.
for their 2nd Annual OFFICIAL JUVENTUS ACADEMY SOCCER CAMP
Last summer, Juve sent a team of their elite Juventus Academy coaches to Duxbury to run their first camp ever in the Boston area. The camp was a huge success, so Juve is returning in August to make sure this year's camp is bigger and better than ever!
BOYS AND GIRLS AGES 5-18 AUGUST 6 - 10, 2018
COPPENS FIELD COMPLEX
Full Day (5 Days / 30 total hours) -- $475
Half Day (5 Days / 15 total hours) -- $310
The Juventus Academy Soccer Camp in Duxbury provides an amazing, authentic soccer experience for players seeking to improve their technique and overall understanding of the game. Everything is performed with intensity at match tempo and under the watchful eyes of the elite Juventus Academy coaches, giving the players unrivaled exposure to Juve's world famous player development methodology. The players will have fun, hone their interpersonal and leadership skills, and learn to play soccer the Juventus way!
The camp is run by a team of coaches from Juve's world famous academy system in partnership with D.F.C. The curriculum and methodology used in the camp were developed at the Juventus Academy in Torino, Italy.
Each player will receive a Juventus Academy training kit (shirt, shorts, socks) at the opening of the camp and, upon completing the camp, a diploma to mark their achievement.
DYSA frequently evolves and improves our programming in order to ensure that we better meet your needs and that our offerings remain truly beneficial to the soccer community in Duxbury. Our goal is to provide great soccer opportunities to our entire youth soccer community, regardless of your level of playing experience or commitment to the game of soccer.
The purpose of this email is to provide you with an overview of our current programming so that you can more easily make the best possible soccer-related decisions going forward. Below are several exhibits designed to answer your questions and to help guide you through the potentially confusing world of youth soccer. (Click on them to open in PDF format.)
In the next week or so, we will also send out an additional communication focusing specifically on our programming for the winter and spring. This subsequent email will help walk you through the decisions you will need to make in the weeks or month ahead. In the meantime, we hope you find this information helpful. Happy Holidays!
Duxbury Youth Soccer Association
Board of Directors
Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association recently launched their on-line coach education course, G / U6-8 coach licensing course. This is the entry level course designed for those folks who are coaching our youngest players.
John Burrill, Executive Director of MYSA writes the following:
"The G-Course online is especially unique in the fact that all students have a LIVE interactive instructor available for questions and discussion as they go through the course. With today's busy lifestyles we understand the problems that coaches face trying to block out time to attend a live course. In an attempt to address this problem and to provide education to those who may not otherwise seek it, we have developed a course that mirrors our live course. It is our sincere hope that every coach in Massachusetts will earn their license, and providing this course will allow all people to do so from the comfort of their own home or office.
We encourage all your coaches to become licensed and take this course. We will still be holding ‘live’ G courses as well for those who want a live instructor. You can access the G on line either thru or web site or at www.massyouthcoachingcourse.org"
Duxbury Youth Soccer will reimburse all Coaches registered in our program, who obtain a certificate of completion. We encourage all coaches to utilize this convenient training tool.