hearing against Shauna Aab, Danny Bowie, Les Hodges and Mike Troke
am writing to express my great concern
with the actions of CSA in response to the matter of the legal claim
the above members of the Alberta Soccer Association this past summer. I understand that there is
to be a
disciplinary hearing very shortly that could result in the suspension
members named in the court action.
have been a parent, manager and district
volunteer for 10+ years and involved with my local soccer association
several capacities. I
am also a 20-year
veteran high school teacher and have participated on many different
and boards, so have a pretty clear understanding of how volunteer/not
profit boards SHOULD work.
first became aware of the rift in
leadership of the ASA early this past spring, and watched in dismay and
as the actions of some of the members allowed a conflict in leadership
completely out of hand. The
revealing episode that I witnessed was the direct attempt to disrupt
Rural Provincials with the petty withholding of medals and
assistance to those communities in early July and then again later in
with the Tier IV U12 Provincials—when last minute changes to
location created a
level of disorganization and confusion that ALMOST ruined the events
kids, parents and coaches. I watched as even into August many parents,
and coaches wondered up to the last minute IF and WHERE their Tier III
provincials might be held.
It was at
that point that the stated concerns of some members of the ASA (Mario
Charpentier, Colin Innes et.al) lost
credibility with me.
Aab was one of the ASA members at
the time that I witnessed did not let politics interfere with
attended U12 Tier IV Girls provincials in Camrose and
handed out medals to young girls who felt that
their efforts had been recognized by the governing soccer body. I was aware that people like Les Hodges went to extraordinary effort and personal financial sacrifice to help supply players in St. Albert with their medals, along with people like Chuck Williams from Edson, who created trophies to provide players in Stettler with a tangible reward so that they could feel recognized by their provincial soccer association. I
when I heard that young players, coaches and parents in communities
Hills had to go home with the memory of a representative of Alberta
attending the field and suggesting that certain teams and referees
barred from participating rather than the medals that they so greatly
so, it is with outrage that I see CSA
suggesting that these fine members of the
Alberta soccer community be sanctioned for resorting
in desperation to
legal action to try to force some sense of sanity and reasonable action
part of the ASA Board (s) and executive members.
understand that CSA and FIFA bylaws prohibit involvement of the
system, but also saw no support forthcoming by either CSA or FIFA as an
explosive situation brewed and came to a head through the spring and
months. I would
have expected that the
parent organization would have taken an interest in MEDIATION and
assistance/leadership to a membership that desperately needed it, not
would have “taken a side” and discounted the
concerns of one group over
fact, I understand that
members of the group in opposition in philosophy to Aab et. al. had
filed a court petition earlier in the spring—should they not
by CSA at the
time, even though they withdrew their court action?
That kind of response by CSA at the time
might have helped head off the unpleasant and costly events that
throughout this past summer and fall.
court action filed by those CSA seeks
to discipline was concluded with a decision by the presiding
is there now punitive
action taken against SOME of the parties involved?
Particularly when members such as Danny Bowie
are clearly making such a transparent and honorable effort to heal the
in his area and lead his association with public input and honesty? Why not respect the input
of a neutral third
party (in this case a judge—could have just as easily been a
mediator) and allow the situation to hopefully be remedied through more
appropriate channels at an AGM in January.
Threatening suspension of these members ends up
looking a bit like a
“witch hunt” rather than an honest effort to help a
fragmented association get
back on its feet after a terrible year of conflict and wasted fees.
a parent and team manager, I was
disgusted when the political posturing of adults interfered with
enjoyment of sport, and I will remind you that it is the fees that
the thousands of parents across the province have paid in good faith
year that have and will pay for this costly sandbox battle. I want my money to go
toward effective management
of the association, toward certified and experienced technical
the game, and to the hiring, maintenance and support of provincial
are good at their jobs, and not there to do one
I do not want my fees being spent on hiring,
firing, re-hiring and re-firing of staff that I have interacted with in
professional capacity like Margaret Dunlop, the Referee Coordinator at
did her job well and met the needs of her membership (one of my sons is
referee as well as a player). I
want my fees spent on lawyers and court costs that I know number in the
hundreds of thousands of dollars at this point.
I do not want my money funneled into an organization
that is financially
questionable and fragmented. Most
all, I do not want to see my teenage players and referees to see a
association so blatantly ignore the values of our
values that are integral to all sports such as
ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPECT and HONESTY.
know that I speak for many other parents when I say this.
CSA committee members, set an
example that we can hold up to our players and coaches.
Put a stop to the childish “he
says” approach that has all but ruined the sport in our
province to date. Don’t
allow soccer in this province to be
degraded to a point where parents put their kids back into hockey and
community sports, shaking their heads at a sports association that so
what sports should be for our children.
Shauna Aab, Danny Bowie, Mike Troke and
Les Hodges continue
their efforts to
repair the damage and let the membership of the soccer associations
province determine who will lead ASA out of this ugly dark period in
time at an
AGM in January. Suspension
people at this point will only cause a rift in our kids’ game
that even the
most spectacular soccer pass will not be able to cross.