Letter from Executive Director Eric Dade

Flash Families,

I'm hoping this message finds you and yours well during a Holiday Season like no other we have seen in our lifetime.  We all continue navigating the ups and downs this unsettled worldwide pandemic throws at us, while remaining optimistic a vision of normality and comfort lies ahead. 

As I look back to the beginning of the year, there were many uncertainties and realities.  Students would no longer be in school with their teachers, and parents had to embrace the role of teaching assistant.  Our Flash community was put on hold and we discovered the internet can create a great sense of community while keeping players active and engaged with their peers through soccer.   I will personally remember and always hold dear to my heart, the resilience, commitment, and desire to adapt displayed by club ownership, club leadership, coaches, players, and parents.  Everyone forged forward in preparation for the day we would be allowed back on the field, participating in the sport we love. 

On July 6th, NY State did allow us to resume programming, but with many restrictions and mandates.  With excitement and caution we successfully resumed training, conducted tryouts, witnessed our high school age players participate in school soccer, and participated in regional and local league play.  It took players, parents, and coaches adhering to new safety protocols from masks and social distancing, to training without spectators and games without fans. 

Historically during the Holiday Season, we find ourselves traveling to and gathering with family and friends to share joy and happiness.  This year, although the traveling will be limited and the gatherings smaller, we will embrace the holidays with love of family and friends.  Our methods are sure to be unique during these 2020 holidays! 

On behalf of the Flash Academy, a special thanks to Regan Steele, our Boys Coaching Director, for his leadership and passion for giving.  What started as a toy drive turned into an educational initiative that educated Flash players on the spirit of the giving season.  Through collaboration with Oishei Children’s Hospital and the unbelievable support of our Flash Families, "Fill the Van" was completely filled with toys and gifts for children in the hospital during the holidays and beyond.   

It is part of the human condition to not appreciate something until it is taken away.  I think we all learned this in 2020.  When our lives do return to normal, and they will, we will do so with greater drive, appreciation, and compassion than we had before.  We welcome 2021 and what it will bring.

Thank you Flash Families for your continued support and Happy Holidays!

Eric Dade
Executive Director of Coaching
WNY Flash Academy