Let me start by re-iterating the mission of the Wildcats Football Association of Calgary; to provide safe, fun instruction and education in the game of tackle football for the children and families in our areas.
The Asscoiation, and the Board, support that mission through a variety of activities and initiatives, but in every case, the core consideration is the kids; not any one kid, but all kids, at every level, now, and into the future.
Since that is the case, I need to state the obvious; we are honored by your choice to enroll your child in one of our programs, and are grateful beyond words for the support and involvement of the parents, guardians, family and friends in support of the Wildcats.
Next on my list of thanks is to our volunteers; from coaches on the field to the wide variety of members who work in a number of other ways to make our organization successful. From bringing in bottles to buying flowers, to casino volunteers to equipment handouts and snack days and more, our organization is fueled by volunteers, and the success of our organization is a direct result of your efforts. On behalf of the Board, I thank you all.
2021 was a year in which our dedication and resolve was tested. The Spring football program saw a second consecutive cancellation, taking away the opportunity for many high school players to see the field in their final two years of eligibility. Luckily, our Bantam, PeeWee and Atom programs were able to play last year, and registration was strong. While none of our teams won a championship, I am nonetheless confident that our core mission – safe, fun education and instruction in football – was effectively performed. The participation of our members, whether volunteering their time or participating financially, allowed us to weather an unbelievably difficult 2 years, and we appear to be entering a reality where, though COVID-19 may still be an issue for our world, we can continue to execute our mission. Again, many thanks to all those volunteers and parents who worked to institute safety protocols and weather that storm.
We begin 2022 in good shape; registration remains strong, and our finances have been stable and solid for some time. Our Spring team has won their first playoff game, and faces their next test this Thursday. I am confident that, no matter the outcome, the players will conduct themselves in a way that is reflective of the pride we aim to instill at every level of our organization.
I’d like to close with a look into our future. Our head coaches, coaches and managers are responsible for so much of the operational burden, and many of those faces are also here with us today as board members. We are blessed by the education and long serving tenure of many of those people. It is important , though, to remember the difference in focus of the Board. We must look to the future, anticipate risks, and make plans and set policies such that we preserve the essential core of our program.
To that end, our Director of Media and Technology, Jessie Randall, in conjunction with Shelley Lakatos, are hard at work implementing a new registration, communication and internet software package to modernize those operations for the next 5-10 years.
Additionally, the Board tonight will debate (and hopefully approve) my initiative to establish a Sustainability Fund, which will provide a fiscal reserve that will ensure that, even if another series of events like the ones we faced in 2020 and 2021 occur again, we will have the financial wherewithal to continue our organization without dramatic or catastrophict to the survivability of our organization.
Lastly, we will continue to invest in the renewal, development and coaching of our coaching and field-side staff. The world of football has changed in the last 10 years, and our organization must adapt with it. Player safety has never been a more actively managed concern on, or off the field, and we will continue that drive to make our game as safe as any competitive contact sport can be. Culturally, too, expectations have changed, and we embrace the opportunity to bring the game to more kids of diverse backgrounds and realities. The Wildcats will be a leader in progressing and evolving our approach to recruitment, coaching and leading, in order to create an experience that, regardless of where or when their career ends, every player and their family feels as though we were a positive contribution to their lives.
With that, I thank you all for your continued support, your cheers when we succeed, and your comments and patience when we need coaching and instruction. Like our players, we are committed to the pursuit of excellence, while recognizing that this statement binds us to an endless dissatisfaction with good enough, and a desire for greatness.