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Letter: Welcome to play

My son was denied to play soccer in our local community league this year. For some reason, sign-ups started before school and it wasn’t widely advertised. So when I inquired, I was told “sorry, it’s already three weeks into the season and games were starting the following Saturday.”

Of course, my 8-year-old was crushed that he couldn’t join in with his friends, but I was able to sign him up at the neighboring local YMCA. He was really apprehensive about joining a league where he wouldn’t know anyone. I assured him this was a blessing in disguise and he would make new friends.

It feels good to come through for your children as a parent. My son has made many new friends, and the coaches and staff are extremely friendly and helpful. We have felt very welcomed at all of the games and practices not only by our team but the other teams, too. I was surprised that three weeks into our season we ended up with three new faces on our team and nobody even flinched. The attitude all around was the more the merrier. In fact, it has been such an incredible experience that my son has decided to stick with the YMCA and continue with the basketball and indoor soccer leagues.

It probably doesn’t hurt that his team is undefeated and heading to the championship game, but the overwhelming response of being accepted is the key to this whole program. Every kid is smiling no matter if they win or lose because in the end it really is about “having fun.”

Thank you, Athol YMCA, for accepting any child and showing the rest of us that it really is about the kids and showing them how to be TEAM players.

ELLEN MARTIN

Erving

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