The Staten Island Youth Soccer League has donated 12,000 disposable masks that will be distributed to local hospitals, the New York Police Department and the Fire Department of New York, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association announced on Wednesday.
The league accomplished this during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has severely hit New York City and its suburbs.
”Thanks to the efforts of treasurer Fred Cipriani and development officer Liz Morano, the league has secured 12,000 disposable masks to distribute to our local hospitals, NYPD and FDNY first responders,” SIYSL president Bill Smith said. ”Fred and Liz have been working with some of their community contacts so that we can have a distribution plan in place when the masks arrive this week.”
Added Cipriani: ”This is a donation valued around $9,000 from the league to New York City. We believe it is important for the league to support our community and our constituents, many of whom are nurses, doctors, medical technicians plus members of the NYPD and FDNY.”
The SIYSL has helped those in need in the past. The league and Staten Island Soccer Club, the SIYSL’s travel program, raised $1,940 in September 2019 for the non-profit organization Stephen Sillers Tunnel to Towers Foundation, whose work benefits first responders and injured service members.
The league and SISC are working on season scenarios, depending on when youth soccer will be given the green light to return. While the travel club is awaiting direction from the leagues in which they participate, the recreational side is working on its own plans.
”We are working on two scenarios currently,” SIYSL vice president and scheduler Rich Nellis said. “One scenario is picking up the season schedule in progress with some tweaks to ensure all teams play an equal number of games. The second scenario is a tournament style format in May-June in which we would have different age groups play two-four games across two weekends culminating in playoff weekends and a championship weekend at the end.”
League vice president Rob Libertelli said that “we want to ensure the health and safety of our league and our families.”
“While we are not rushing back, we want to be prepared to give our kids a much-needed soccer experience, especially after this difficult situation,” he added. “The parks are closed and our permits have been suspended until further notice from NYC Parks and Recreation. As a result, we will be prepared to begin within two weeks of the permits being re-issued. We have not and will not allow any sanctioned activities to take place for the league or the Staten Island Soccer Club until that time.”
The SIYSL still plans to have its High School League season, its Alumni League (college age) and Come Back League (adults) during June and July.
”All of this is depending on the recommendations of the CDC and New York City and State health officials,” Libertelli said.