Hi soccer parent. Alan here, the Aspen Gardens soccer director. I hope that you and your family are staying active and enjoying the recently arrived winter.

As we look forward to next year’s soccer, we are soliciting feedback on a possible change for soccer in Aspen. We are considering engaging with SWEMSA (South West Edmonton Minor Soccer Association) for future soccer seasons in Aspen, but wanted to give parents a chance to voice their opinion first.

A bit of background to this: for as long as I have been involved with Aspen Soccer (about 7 years) we have had our own independent soccer program. The program is low-cost, there is no traveling for games beyond Aspen, and we are in full control of what we offer. This has worked well and has been popular with both parents and players. I am not fully aware of the historical rationale for not being part of SWEMSA, but regardless, we are one of only two un-affiliated neighborhoods in Edmonton.

On the flip side, this approach does have some drawbacks. We do not have access to the infrastructure that SWEMSA provides, which includes high-quality training & materials for coaches, recruitment assistance, advertising, and games against other neighborhoods.

We want to offer the best program we can, but in recent years we have seen lower recruitment levels. In 2019 we had less players than usual, in 2020 we didn’t run a program (due to COVID, but we also did not have a soccer director), and in 2021 we again had low turnout, obviously partly due to the epidemic. We do not want the program itself to become tenuous, COVID notwithstanding.

If you have any opinion on the future of Aspen Gardens soccer, if you are in favour one way or the other of this change, we would love to hear from you.

In the meantime, stay safe and stay warm!

Alan Clark
Aspen Gardens Community League Soccer Director