While the COVID 19 pandemic has had significant impacts on the economy, small businesses, restaurants and education, the impacts have also trickled down to youth sports.
Last summer baseball seasons were shortened, girls softball was cancelled, but this year things were starting to turn the corner until last week.
Those who help organize East Boston Pop Warner (EBPW) football made the difficult decision to pull the plug on the this year’s upcoming season.
Perhaps the raging Delta variant or other factors played a role, but for whatever reason the league could not find enough local volunteers to launch a successful and complete season.
Last week EBPW’s Debbie Raso said after trying to keep the program afloat throughout the pandemic the EBPW board regrets to inform the community that they cannot hold a 2021 season.
“After Covid hit it has been very hard to find coaches and for people to commit to coaching and volunteer staff,” said Raso. “The remaining Board members have tried our hardest and best to recruit people from the community to coach football and cheerleading for the kids of East Boston. But with no luck and no volunteers from the community we are not able to have a season. We are hoping with all hope that we will be able to have a season next year and that the community will step up and get the kids back into football and cheerleading.”
Raso pleaded with the community to “step up’ next year for Eastie youth.
“We are the best community out there so let’s be there for the kids,” she said. “Pop Warner is East Boston’s oldest sports program so let’s bring the love of Pop Warner football and cheer back to Eastie.”
The news came as a shock for many in the community.
“Sad to hear, but it’s been like that for a while now with all the youth sports in East Boston,” said Anthony Pascucci. “A lot of people don’t realize what it takes to keep a youth program going and when you’re understaffed it just makes it harder. Unfortunately these past couple of years with COVID, between canceling seasons and dealing with restrictions, it just makes it harder to get parents to register their children or get them to commit. I’m a board member for East Boston Girls Softball and we are having the same problem as football this year. I guess what I’m trying to say is we need to keep our kids involved in sports, but we also need volunteers to make it work. Good luck Pop Warner and I hope you guys can come back even stronger next season.”
EBPW parent Aimeé Pelosi, “All we needed were coaches and volunteers. It’s so sad.