Greater Expenses, Far Less Participation

RIOC takes over and a once popular youth soccer program dwindles

Updated 36 weeks ago David Stone
Winning team celebrates at the end of the 2017 Roosevelt Island soccer season, managed by RIYP.
Winning team celebrates at the end of the 2017 Roosevelt Island soccer season, managed by RIYP.

"Nearly 200 children and youth are signed up and WE STILL NEED YOU….to join the Roosevelt Island Youth Fall Soccer League as a volunteer coach..." read RIOC's announcement. The date was October 1st. The season was scheduled to begin the next day.

If the inability to attract coaches wasn't troubling enough, the number of kids signed up clanged like a toneless bell.

Nearly 200 children and youth...

Sponsored: School's underway. Need tutoring? Check out Adela Sinclair.

At the end of soccer competition in 2017, the last before Charlie DeFino and the Roosevelt Island Youth Program were slammed out of business by RIOC, The Daily as well as the Roosevelt Islander and the Main Street WIRE carried glowing reports about a successful season.

The Roosevelt Islander went further, noting that when you counted participation in all RIYP programs, it was a record year for the 40 year old nonprofit institution. The WIRE included summaries from winning coaches, including RIOC Public Safety chief Jack McManus.

We contacted DeFino who summarized his reaction sarcastically, "They are a month late and serving about 30% and are now going to pay staff to coach. I would say 'great job.'"

How many kids did RIYP get involved in soccer, last year?

"450 youths 5 to 17, our last year," DeFino said.

That number was verified by independent contemporaneous reports.

We asked RIOC's Director of the Youth Program, Erica Spencer-EL and Vice President Shelton Haynes, "a release says you’ve signed up 'nearly 200' kids for soccer and are trying to recruit volunteer coaches. Can you give me the actual number of signups, not just the estimate, and how that compares to prior seasons?"

Neither answered.

But even the "nearly 200" claim is being questioned.

"There were about 25 players Saturday morning," a parent who was there told The Daily. "Maybe some came later, but a low turnout for that age group."

As of this writing, with the season under way, it's not known how many kids actually signed up, how many coaches volunteered or what they'll do without enough of them.

The signs aren't good, and RIOC, as is so often the case, is not talking.


Comments powered by Disqus

Assorted Ideas

A Personal Cure for Cancer? Not as Strange as You Think

Is it possible you’re unaware of a cancer cure, a natural, non-invasive one, that’s protected you, maybe saved your life, working this miracle without your ever knowing anything about it…? The idea’s not as strange as you think. Spontaneous remissions — “an unexpected improvement or cure from a disease that usually progresses” — from cancer … Continue reading A Personal Cure for Cancer? Not as Strange as You Think →

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Photography Pioneer

Originally posted on Assorted Ideas, Large & Small:
Even new to street photography, you’ll probably hear about Henri Cartier-Bresson. Cartier-Bresson didn’t invent street photography, not by any means, but his philosophy of the “decisive moment” defines it. Photo by Elina Sazonova on Cartier-Bresson Style/The Decisive Moment Cartier-Bresson grabbed me because what he wanted to…

#AscendWithPride, Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island, New York City

A remarkable moment in time, #AscendWithPride, a sun-soaked expression of barriers torn down, folks of all ages and genders walking into FDR Four Freedoms Park to appreciate and share gay pride on Roosevelt Island in New York City. On a landmark day, FDR Four Freedoms Park added a fifth pillar, the freedom of sexual expression … Continue reading #AscendWithPride, Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island, New York City →

Poem: Binghamton

Originally posted on Assorted Ideas, Large & Small:
Binghamton On assignment, not grounded, mind racing, legs pumping, feet pulling, watching, importing, analyzing, wanting to get it, get to the bottom of it, the unbroken, tumbling narrative. Fleeing fear in the dark, after midnight, stars strewn across a black sky, Little Dipper cold and unreachable, singing…

New York City Today, the Biggest Gay Pride Flag Ever

Last month, FDR Four Freedoms Park officials announced #Ascent With Pride, a June 15th celebration during Gay Pride Month in New York City. Today, one day early, the largest Gay Pride Flag in city history was in place and ready to welcome tomorrow’s visitors. Photo provided by Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judith Berdy.

You purchase helps The Daily Keep publishing...