Letter: Supporting Youth Sports and Fitness through the Ram Spirit Fund

Dear Editor,

I’m writing to bring attention to a broad based community wide effort to improve our athletic fields. I invite every New Canaan resident to step forward and support the Ram Spirit Fund (RSF) Capital Campaign in progress now. The RSF represents a new collaborative effort that links our High School athletic program with various youth sports organizations with a shared vision to enhance our town’s athletic complex to meet current and future needs. Organizations coming together to create the Ram Spirit Fund include the NC Rams All Sports Booster Club, New Canaan Youth Football, New Canaan Soccer Association, New Canaan Youth Field Hockey and New Canaan Lacrosse Association. Phase 1 of this campaign seeks to raise Two Million Dollars to cover the cost of creating two new turf fields located between the current Water Tower Turf Field and Dunning Stadium (one full size regulation field and one smaller practice field), along with the re-surfacing of the Dunning turf.

Ram Spirit Fund: Formal Planning, Fundraising Efforts Underway for Two New Turf Fields at NCHS

Nearly two years after receiving municipal approvals, a plan to create two additional turf athletic fields at New Canaan High School is gaining momentum this week, as a website, formal fundraising effort, renderings and timetable for the project have materialized. Through the newly created “Ram Spirit Fund,” a committee that includes the NCHS athletic director, recreation director of the town and officials from youth field hockey, football, lacrosse and soccer groups are seeking to raise $2 million by the end of this month. With those funds in hand, the committee would put the project out to bid in May, start work in June and have the fields ready for when the next academic year kicks off in September, according to a timetable published on the website. The fields would be located across the parking lot from Dunning Field, running from the tennis courts toward Waveny. Nick Williams—both a selectman who voted in favor of the project in July 2013 and a longtime youth sports parent who has launched a website dedicated to NCHS soccer teams—said the new turf fields are “something we need in town.”

“One of the trends continuing trends that we’re seeing in New Canaan is really the explosion of girls’ sports.

Town Pursues Mandatory $20 Per-Player ‘Fields Usage’ Fee from Private Youth Sports Groups

Seeking insight into the true membership numbers and financials of private organizations that run youth sports in New Canaan, town officials plan next year to make mandatory a $20 per-player “fields usage” fee. Led by Park & Recreation Commission Chair Sally Campbell and Selectman Nick Williams and launched through the Youth Sports Committee, the move is designed, in part, to usher New Canaan toward a system where basic upkeep of playing fields is accounted for through above-the-line payments rather than private contributions. In the past, the town had no oversight of the financials of groups that oversee sports such as youth football, lacrosse, baseball, soccer and field hockey, Campbell said during the committee’s Jan. 29 meeting. As a result, she said, “we had groups that ended up having big cash reserves because they were collecting fees way in excess of what they needed to use.”

“So our point to them was, look, you know parents aren’t going to question the fee—because they want their kid to participate, they want them to make the A team and nobody would question it,” Campbell said at the meeting, held in the Art Room at Lapham Community Center.

Youth Sports Roundup: New Canaan Youth Soccer, Field Hockey Notch Big Weekend Wins; U11 Girls Red Soccer Headed for CT Cup Tourney

[The following youth sports game write-ups and photos were submitted by parents of the New Canaan Soccer Association and New Canaan Youth Field Hockey. Please forward your own write-ups to editor@newcanaanite.com for publication on the site and visibility inour daily newsletter, Facebook page and Twitter feed.]


The New Canaan Soccer Girls U10 Red Team Continue to Win

The New Canaan Soccer Girls U10 Red Team improved to 5-1 when the girls defeated the New Milford G team on Sunday, Oct. 19. Although the day was windy and cool, the Red Team came to play and “brought the heat.”

The game began as mainly a defensive battle. The New Canaan offense made multiple scoring attempts but was unable to find the goal in the face of a tough New Milford defense and goalkeeper.

Weekend Wins for New Canaan Youth Soccer, Field Hockey Teams

[The following youth sports game summaries and photos were submitted by parents of the New Canaan Soccer Association. Please forward your own write-ups to editor@newcanaanite.com for publication on the site and visibility in our daily newsletter, Facebook page and Twitter feed.]

New Canaan Soccer Girls U10 Red Team Weathers the Storm vs. Stamford

The Stamford Hurricane girls rolled into New Canaan looking to extend their undefeated season, but were reduced to a mere tropical storm Sunday by the New Canaan squad. The New Canaan Soccer Girls U10 Red Team extended its season record by notching a 4-1 victory. The game opened with an even exchange of offense and defense, but the momentum shifted toward the New Canaan side.