by Stephen Dafoe
The Morinville Youth Basketball Association (MYBA) is struggling to fill their volunteer coaching positions. This situation could lead them to have to turn away dozens of athletes of all age groups.
“We are seeing a high number of new athletes coming into our programs, with over 100 new since our pre-covid season,” said MYBA coach and communications spokesperson Samantha Ringuette.
Ringuette said a high number of the new athletes are boys and that many of the Association’s female players have not returned to the court since the start of the pandemic.
“Canadian Women in Sport, an organization with the aim to increase the representation of female athletes, coaches, and leaders, found that one in four girls between 6 and 18 will not return,” Ringuette said. “[We] are seeing that with our numbers, even with the increased registration and new athletes we have this year. This is likely due to less participation during the pandemic, a lack of confidence in their abilities, and a lack of engagement.”
The Association has been posting regularly on their Facebook page to their 250-plus followers, but so far have not got the response they need to be able to put all the teams on the court.
The time commitment to be an MYBA coach varies based on the age group. U7 and U9 coaches can expect one 60- to 90-minute practice per week and a few weekend games between September and March.
U11 and U13 teams are also one 60- to 90-minute practice per week; however, there are weekly games each weekend.
Ringuette said the U15 teams practice for 90 minutes once or twice per week and also have games each weekend.
The U18s have a shorter season, from September to November with 90-minute practices one or twice per week and weekend games.
All coaches will need a clear Criminal Record Check, but coaching experience is not required.
“We don’t require any coaching experience, and parents who coach their athlete’s team will have their athlete’s program fee waived,” Ringuette said.
“It’s hard to say why there are so few coaches. It could be due to a lack of comfort or confidence in coaching. We provide training and support throughout the season to ensure our coaches are comfortable with their coaching.”
Those interested in assisting can email the Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/morinvilleyouthbasketball.