New Canaan High School sports teams, fed by fun and popular town-run and private youth programs, regularly produce standout athletes in all areas—this season, for example, in cross country, soccer, football and field hockey—and high success among county and state competitors.
A core piece of the coaching staffs that oversee teams on all levels are assistants, and district officials say that without the generous contributions of the only organization in town that supports all sports—the All Sports Booster Club—New Canaan couldn’t get stipends into those assistants’ hands and likely couldn’t play and compete on the level it does.
“We would struggle to continue our programs at the level at which we have them without such a generous donation by the All Sports Booster Club each year,” Acting Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said on a recent afternoon.
“The donations that the All Sports Booster Club makes toward the stipends for these volunteer coaches really are essential components of our program,” he said.
At its most recent meeting, the Board of Education unanimously, gratefully and enthusiastically accepted a donation of $58,134 from the club for the fall 2014 season.
The funds now are coming through the district itself—instead of directly to the teams—so that the schools can get a sense of total cost of program, Luizzi said.
All Sports Booster Club President Tracey Karl, in her second year in the position, said the organization is “pleased to be able to make a donation three times a year to support additional coaches for every sport.”
“Part of our mission is to raise funds to enrich the overall athletic program and this is a direct way of positively benefitting all athletes at NCHS,” she told NewCanaanite.com. “Over the years our community through memberships, donations and local sponsorships has generously supported our efforts and enabled us to provide broad support for all teams, athletes, and coaches.”
In New Canaan, head coaches for varsity, JV and freshmen teams are compensated through the Board of Ed’s budget, but many assistant coaches are not.
“It truly is critical to our programs,” Luizzi said of the All Sports Booster Club’s contribution. “We have times when our numbers go through the roof for football, with 80 kids playing. We are able to have that many kids because the All Sports Booster Club helps to fund a couple of coaches so that we have appropriate supervision. Same goes for soccer, lacrosse and all of our sports.”