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Monthly Archives:

October 2020

Q & A with Bill Countryman

After six and a half years devoted to our community’s sports programs, our Sports Director Bill is stepping down from his volunteer role on the Griesbach Community League.

We are now looking to fill the position: are you ready to take on this challenging, but rewarding role? Read this Q & A with Bill to find out.

If you have any questions or would like to apply, please email our president, Shelby Corley (president@griesbachcommunity.com)


1. Briefly describe both the busy and slower season.
The busy season is the spring session from February until June. In the past we have seen as many as 150 registrations. After registrations, the Sports Director finds volunteers for the session and arranges resources. Much of the time goes towards setting up the teams; paying fees; organizing team equipment; communicating with parents and coaches; and coordinating coaching courses. Throughout the season, there is an on-going need to address parent concerns, set up pictures, and respond to divisional requests from the zone office. Towards the end of the season, there is a need for equipment collection, deployment of team pictures and organizing of the year-end party for younger age groups. With the Volunteers Director position still vacant, the Sports Director may take on the extra responsibility of contacting parents. The fall season is very similar in terms of responsibilities but only for about one-third of the teams and it is about one-third as busy.Outside the organizing, there is a need to keep up with the EMSA (Edmonton Minor Soccer Association) meetings and emails.

2. Briefly describe how the season (and the position) have changed for the time being and any current challenges with the limited season.
This past spring, due to Covid-19, the number of registrants was down substantially–about 25% of previous levels with only four teams, making it relatively easy. The biggest challenge was having parents cancel without notifying, due to Covid-19. This fall season is strictly online through the zone and for indoor, but Griesbach will not be supporting any teams.

3. The number of hours per month on average (pre-Covid-19 and currently).
Spring session> (Feb to May) 10-20 hours a week (This includes: Email, meetings, sessions, and organizing).

Fall session> (Mid August to October) 5-10 hours a week (same tasks listed above).

During Covid-19, (February to June), I spent between 5-10 hours a week, due to the start of the season being unknown.  

Fall indoor session has been 1-2 hours, with not having teams for the session.

4. Advice to someone considering applying for this position).
Doing a provincial jail time might be easier! (2 years less a day). Just joking…..The biggest payoff is interacting with the community, forming relationships with young families and seeing the growth of players in the program. The work you put into the community can be seen on the field with the program you create–but you have to be willing to follow through and see it to the end. At a minimum, you need to commit to a 2-year term in order to have a real understanding of the program and to develop some consistency with the EMSA zone.

5. Good qualities to have for this position.Good communication, organization and patience. Soccer or sports experience is not necessary.

6. Ways to grow and what you can learn in this position.
Form a cadre for the program. Choose one person as a point of contact with the zone; one for equipment and logistics and one for volunteers/coaches. I always had people willing to assist with the registrations but finding good coaches willing to commit was the biggest issue.

7. Greatest challenges and successes in this role.
Challenges: the EMSA, the time commitment and finding consistent coaches with experience.
Successes: Watching the teams play, returning teams and coaches; seeing the soccer program go to city championships; and witnessing children and members in the community form friendships outside the sport.

8. Why this role is vital to the community.
It brings young families in the community together and creates long-term friendships in sport that also expand into school.

9. Perks of this position (company car, box seats, signed jerseys…).
Watching the teams play, meeting great families and making new friendships. No perks, no company car, no box seats, no signed jerseys, no fee-saving for registrations of sports……maybe a bag of chips and a pop at the year end party?……oh, and you get to freeze as well. The other perk has been working with a great board with so many accomplishments over the years.