PAYSA to provide free access for displaced Ukrainian families

Herald file photo. Two youth players from Prince Albert Celtic clear the ball away from a Yorkton United player during an indoor soccer tournament at the Alfred Jenkins Fieldhouse in Fall 2019.

With indoor soccer registration approaching, the Board of Directors of Prince Albert Youth Soccer has decided to provide all Ukrainian refugee children living in Prince Albert with free soccer registration for the Indoor 2022-23 season.

President Dr. Nnamdi Ndubuka said it’s a way to help families connect in a new place with a familiar sport.

“As a board, we feel that the Ukrainian families that are affected by the global conflict would require support, particularly for those young individuals who are settling in our community here in Prince Albert,” Nbubuka said. “We do know that football (soccer) is one of the most popular sports in Ukraine … so being one of the most popular sports, I think we believe that we want to play our own role in facilitating the families in settling here in Prince Albert.

Registration for the indoor season runs from Sept. 6-7. The children of Ukrainian refugees will have free access to the indoor program, which includes free apparel like jerseys, shorts, and socks so they can play.

“Soccer is the sport that is universal,” Nbubuka said. “(It helps) reach a lot of gaps in terms of socialization and even enhancing their mental wellbeing while settling in Prince Albert.”

With the outdoor season recently concluding, the decision was made to focus on indoor soccer, which begins in October.

For more information contact the office at 306-922-2545. Ndubuka said that they will take it from there.

“We just wanted to show our support in terms of the plight that they are undergoing because to be displaced from your original community can create a lot of challenges,” Ndubuka said.

“Also, it goes with the fact that federally Canada has always supported newcomers, including refugees, so this would not be an exception.”

He also wanted the members of the PAYSA to do their part.
“I just want to also encourage our PAYSA members out there to kindly reach out to Ukrainian families any way that they can to show support,” he said. “For those who want to make donations for cleats or any other soccer equipment for the Ukrainian families, please contact out office to make those donations.”

Ndubuka said that they already appreciate the support they have received from membership on this idea.