The last major hurdle in the way of Football Newfoundland and Labrador (FNL) is acquiring Provincial Sports Organization (PSO) status.
Football Newfoundland and Labrador president Adam Ledrew believes that’s imminent.
“We’re waiting for Sport Newfoundland and Labrador’s annual meeting,” said Ledrew.
The meeting is scheduled for Nov. 16 at the Marriot Fairfield Inn and Suites on Kenmount Road.
To put it in football terms, FNL is moving closer the end zone and they’d prefer to go for a touchdown instead of settling for an attempted field goal. The last thing they’d want to do at this point is punt.
Starting a new sport in this province from scratch seems like a daunting task, but Ledrew had a vision it could get off the ground and also what it could become in the future.
“This is just something I felt needed to be here,” he said. “It’s something that just happened one day. I looked around to see how many volunteers I could get and it took off from there.”
The idea for the program actually started last February and there was an immediate response.
“Before we even started recruiting players, we had about 15 volunteers ready to step in and help in various areas,” Ledrew noted.
The program now has a permanent site during summer months at Rainbow Gully Field in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, which can accommodate football goalposts.
“The town welcomed us with open arms,” said Ledrew.
During the winter months, the program will move indoors to the Smallwood Fieldhouse in Mount Pearl (the former Mount Pearl Arena) for two nights a week starting in February.
Right now, the new football program for ages eight to 18 is about practising and limited scrimmages.
Ledrew hoped to play some games in the Atlantic provinces on Labour Day, but that fell through.
A planned trip for games in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick on that holiday weekend was cancelled because of insurance issues.
The Newfoundland group is a community operated program, while their mainland opponents would have been school board operated and permission was not forthcoming.
Ledrew admitted the Newfoundland kids probably weren’t ready for games at this point in their development, anyway.
Ledrew says he’s in it for the long haul. He said he is determined to make football a year-round program.
For that to happen he said the program has to grow and eventually move into 12-man football which he says won’t be a problem once the numbers grow.
There are about 50 registered players in the program at this point.
Anyone looking for more information on the program can email Adam Ledrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A group looking for membership as an official provincial sport organization in Sport Newfoundland and Labrador needs to make application to the SNL’s secretary in writing. Upon acceptance of the application by the board of directors, and a fee payment, they may be deemed members of the federation as an active member or as an associate member as the board decides. The activity of the organization must meet SNL’s definition of sport, as set out in Attachment A to this policy: • The organization must demonstrate in its Constitution, other governing documents or planning documents that its mission, goals and objectives are consistent with, and contribute to, the mission, goals and objectives of SNL. The organization should be provincial in scope and that it offers participation and leadership opportunities to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. • The organization must have held at least one annual general meeting and have elected a volunteer board of directors at that annual general meeting. • The organization must be incorporated by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and must have been in existence as such for a period of at least one year prior to application for membership. • The organization must have a minimum of 50 registered members representing at least two of the five regions from the old Newfoundland and Labrador Games. Those regions are St. John’s/Mount Pearl, Avalon Peninsula, Eastern, Western, Central and Labrador. • The organization must operate on a not-for-profit basis and must be volunteer-driven. • The organization must demonstrate that it includes among its members, satisfactory numbers of appropriately certified officials and coaches to enable the organization to deliver its programs. • The Board of Directors will have the sole discretion to interpret these requirements and to render all decisions on applications for membership. Acceptance as a member of Sport Newfoundland and Labrador can only be approved at the annual general meeting of SNL. • Priority and preference will be given to those sports recognized by Sport Canada and who participate in the Canada Games and/or the Olympic Games.