Young soccer players will be able to continue honing their skills into the fall, free of charge.
In response to scheduling challenges caused by the wild weather in April and May Shuswap Youth Soccer Association (SYSA) have decided to offer their fall street soccer program free to any registered spring soccer players.
“We were hoping and fairly confident of an April 22 start but due to the weather the city didn’t open the fields until Saturday April 29,” said SYSA Executive Director Kevin Harrison.
Harrison said despite the late start and the field closures due to heavy rain on May 6 and 13, the league managed to reschedule all the games that were missed by running games twice a week.
Although parents of players had been very understanding for the most part, SYSA decided to offer the fall program free of charge as a show of good faith, he said.
Unlike the spring house soccer season, the fall program consists of only games, no practices and teams are rotated each week with a focus on keeping them balanced.
“Kids think it’s fun because they get to play with different kids and meet different kids,” Harrison said “Kids really enjoy the games only, it’s not the best for development but it’s fun.”
In past years, Harrison estimated fall soccer has attracted no more than 130 players, compared to approximately 1000 in the spring; this year he thinks that number could grow.
“A lot of people like the word free,” he said.
Harrison said the fall program will be open to everybody but in the past there have not been enough numbers to run games for older age groups, especially players in senior high.
In the past, some age groups have been run co-ed in order to make enough teams.
Harrison says he expects fall soccer to run on Tuesdays from September 12 to October 17.
A second night of the week may be added if there is sufficient interest.