Wow, how busy has the past few weeks been? With getting the Football program off the ground this year, to the first days of school then conditioning practices followed by football equipment distribution for over 150 young men and women then our Opening Ceremonies, its a wonder we’ve all been able to keep up.
The program is shaping up very well this year, and we have an exciting schedule ahead. We’ve had some truly amazing commitments from some parents to volunteer their time to help out in the various capacities it takes to keep American Football alive and well in Singapore, so a very sincere thanks to each and everyone of you
This lengthy email (apologize for that) includes the following:
1. Understanding the cost of playing football in Singapore
2. Team Meals & International Tournaments
3. Information on the Away Games
1. Cost of playing football in Singapore
We’re often asked about the costs involved in playing American Football in Singapore, and I’d like to take this opportunity to provide you information on the costs and expenses we incur each year, which is then used to determine the pay-to-play fee for our program.
On average, the SAFL program requires about $70,000 per year for regular season Football and $12,000 for Cheerleading. This expense is made up of all issued player equipment like shoulder pads, an American Football helmet, chin-strap, mouth-guard, practice & game jersey. Our Cheerleaders are provided with new uniforms and pom-poms each year plus custom embroidering and bows, the poster materials and poster painting party. Non-player costs include inventory replenishment/refurbishment of player equipment, shipping costs from U.S., game day medics, field equipment, coaching aids, lighting fees for night games, officiating gear, administrative & technology costs are also incurred to run the league each year.
We budget our expenses, then estimate the total number of participants (football players and cheerleaders) and set our program fees to cover these costs. Depending on the number of participants, we may or may not cover these total costs each year. In most of the past several years, our program has operated at a small loss even after taking into consideration donations and sponsorships.
This year we started the optional Touchdown Club, and some of you have graciously joined! I’m pleased to announce that these donations will help support our Heads-Up Football initiative through the necessary new equipment we are purchasing to coach proper blocking and tackling techniques.
Our regular season budget doesn’t include any costs or expenses to support our International Tournaments we host in Singapore or travel to away games. These costs are accounted for under our Football Tournament budget separately.
2. Team Meals (World Conference), Snacks & Drinks
In the past, our Football & Cheerleading Team Moms have been involved in being there for all our players both on the field and off. They provide snacks, drinks, sanitize and get ready water bottles & towels for all leagues, as well as organize team meals before the games for our boys in the World Conference.
For the International Tournament games, we also provide team meals and the on-field snacks and drinks, plus busing to SAS for the visiting teams. This year, we will be hosting 5 international games besides our own home games with Victoria's two U19 games with about 40 players and Shanghai's U11, U15 and U19 three games with about 60 players. This is our way to say thanks for them making the trip here to play us. We get treated with similar graciousness when we travel overseas to play the other teams.
Team Moms have historically made an appeal to the team parents to provide some level of funding for all these activities and requirements. These donations are then put into an account from which the snacks, meals and drinks are funded for the benefit off all the players and cheerleaders participating in these games. This fund also helps support the meals and drinks on game days for our visiting International teams. We all know how much it takes to fill these players up and the players need the food and always appreciate these meals. It's also a time for them to bond as a team.
This year, we’re trying to make this easier, by enabling an online donation via our TeamSnap registration program and PayPal. We’re asking all participants in the World Conference to donate a minimum of $100 ($50 for our games and $50 for International games) per player. We are also asking our National Conference and American Conference participants donate a minimum of $50 per player to support their International games. We would of course graciously accept more if you wish, with our special thanks! We’re also looking for sponsors who would be willing to help contribute to offset some of these costs.
Your donations can be made via http://donate.safl.sg . We'd appreciate the donation by end of next week so our Team Moms know the budget they have to work with.
3. Away Games - Okinawa and Dubai Travel
I also want to update you on our International travel plans for our World Conference players and cheer girls and ask for your valuable input on these two travel opportunities.
As presented during the two (2) parent meetings, we are finalizing the housing costs for our Okinawa trip (08 Oct - 15Oct) and will update you ASAP with the final costs. We estimate the cost to be about S$1500/player excluding pocket money and some meals. In order to assist us in the planning, we’re collecting information from our families on the interest in travel to both Okinawa and/or Dubai. Could you please complete the information request form at the link provided below even if your child or yourself have previously indicated to Lisa? (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To reiterate some of the questions asked during our parent meetings, parents and siblings are invited and welcome to attend. If you are interested in going, please keep in mind our pre-booked seats for flights to Okinawa and Dubai are allocated to players, cheerleaders and coaches, followed by space available opportunities for others interested.
We are aware there's a festival in Okinawa the weekend we arrive so some of you may have trouble getting hotels. You may consider flying later to arrive Monday if that helps with accommodation booking or you may try to stay on the military base with us (upon confirmation of availability from base). Do note that it is a 3 star hotel with no amenities like pool and gym for civilians. If you aren't able to travel with your child, rest assured we have adult supervision and we take this job very seriously.
Typical itineraries for our away games include designated accommodation for all participants, daily breakfast and some lunches and dinners (but not all) included as a team activity. The players and cheerleaders will practice most days, with time for rest and 1-2 planned team activities and tours. Proposed tours for Okinawa this year is to the Aquarium (one of the best in world) and there'll be a day at the beach with team BBQ. Players, coaches and official chaperones will be staying with the team, most probably on the Kadena military base. This helps keep our kids safe, as they aren’t allowed off base without an adult escort.
We also have opportunity for a team trip to Dubai on 27-30 October and urgently need feedback on how many of our World Conference (and invited National Conference) players expect to participate in this trip. We're estimating the cost of this trip to be about S$1000. This information will be used for planning purposes, and to ensure we reserve enough air-tickets and housing in Dubai for that weekend. Can I ask you to please complete the form available at the link below as soon as possible, no later than Monday, 12 September? This form includes details for family requirements to join too.
The SAFL Travel Information Form needs to be completed by Monday, 12 September 2016 - http://travel.safl.sg
A gentle reminder that this league needs volunteers and sponsors to succeed so please step forward and lend us a helping hand in any way you can. American Football in South East Asia needs you!
Thanks again for all your support, and I look forward to seeing everyone on the field this weekend, with our first game set for Friday, starting at 6:30pm!
Gregory K. Rutledge