2020 Father Christmas Cup Announcement

After careful deliberation, the Father Christmas Cup Committee has decided to move forward with this year’s fundraiser to be held at Silverbacks Park Saturday, December 12th 2020.

The Atlanta Silverbacks organization, the Atlanta United FC and the Atlanta United Foundation continue to support this fundraiser and will once again be our Platinum Shirt Sponsors. 

The Father Christmas Cup committee conducted a survey which returned 252 responses from past participants. The majority of those that took the survey planned to attend and were comfortable with the safety precautions that the Father Christmas Cup Committee are recommending. We conservatively estimate that our anticipated attendance will be approximately 70% of what it was last year. 

This year’s event will present some unique challenges as we seek to minimize risk and maximize the safety of everyone that elects to participate. 

 We’ve consulted with Silverbacks Park who report that several hundred matches have been played since the park re-opened without one Covid related incident reported. Silverbacks have enacted the following safety protocols.

  1. All Silverback’s staff are screened prior to starting their shift using a thermometer and checking for visible signs of illness: coughing, sneezing, runny nose, loss of taste, rash etc.
  2. The staff sanitize all doors, faucet handles, sinks, toilets, and any other high touch areas every hour.
  3. The concessions are currently not accepting cash at the park or in the restaurant. All payments will be contactless. 

Discussions with youth soccer clubs and their team managers reveal that their precautionary safety measures and participation protocols appear to be working. 

Each participant in this year’s event will need to assess their own individual set of circumstances and evaluate any potential risks to others in their daily living environment and decide accordingly as to whether to attend the event in person. Each team manager will be given a team waiver and will be responsible for ensuring each participant signs that will state that they understand the risks involved by attending. 

We anticipate that this year’s event will be smaller in scale as some will decide to stay home. We will be changing the day’s schedule to maximize social distancing as best we can. As such we will not be holding the gathering segment or the youth and adult raffle. We will continue with the 8 v 8 format but will limit each roster to 12 players. We will ask that team managers be responsible for the sign up of the whole team so that shirts can be distributed to each manager so they can give to each participant.

We will encourage each team to bring their own pop up tent(s) which should be set up in the bleachers in the main stadium. Each tent should be set up at least 10 yards apart. The idea is to try to create a team bubble. We will encourage that masks be worn off the pitch. We will have hand sanitation stations throughout the park and disposable masks for those who may have forgotten to bring their own. 

The food and drinks concessions will be open and we ask that everyone takes the necessary precautions as they would when going into any other restaurant environment. The concession area will be an “open” space with heaters but it may be colder than normal, so dress accordingly. 

We will also face fundraising challenges this year as well. Much of our fundraising comes from the proceeds of participation registration and with fewer players registering we envisage that our fundraising will amount to be less than normal. We also anticipate that more families will need help than we are usually able to support. This was the underlying factor that drove the decision made by the committee to proceed with this year’s event rather than postponing. As a grass-roots soccer charity our community perhaps needs the event more this year than ever before on many levels. 

This year’s Father Christmas Cup will be awarded to the team that collectively raises the most money. Each team will use their team name to share with donors so we can track the funds raised. The team can also be used for any shirt sponsors that the team introduces and any donations made. 

We will have prizes for the youth teams that raise the most funds. The prizes will be given to the team manager to disburse to the team members. 

We will also have our online auction. 

We look forward to seeing everyone on the day for what promises to be a very special event. 

Shirt and corporate sponsors contact Stephen O’Hare   [email protected]

Media contact is Ellen Peacock                                       [email protected] 

Youth teams contact is Neil McNab                                 [email protected]

Women’s teams contact is Mark Halulka                        [email protected] 

Men’ s teams contact is Steve Dunbar                            [email protected] 

Auction items and Youth Prizes is Jeb Smith                  [email protected]