A group of Salmon Arm Secondary Jewels soccer players got some time on international turf during their recent team trip to Hawaii to train and compete on the island.
Made up of players from the junior and senior Jewels teams, the group embarked on the trip not only as a great opportunity to train and connect with other players, but as a bit of a reward for commitment to the team.
“There was a core group of girls that were at every practice, who have shown a strong commitment, and I believe when people schedule their lives around their sport, it’s nice to have something like this as a reward,” says coach Tricia Martin. “And it’s a great team bonding moment, not just for these girls but for that whole female soccer community. It’s always good to have that sort of networking.”
The 13 players and Martin fundraised to cover the majority of the costs themselves, putting on some big fundraising drives over the past year to get themselves on the plane to Hawaii. While several parents were involved as well, Martin says the players took charge wherever they were able.
“It was a bit of task, but it was about the girls taking leadership in these events, not the parents. The kids took the main leadership role which was a good experience in itself,” She says.
While on the island, the group of players had a few practice sessions, three games against Hawaiian teams and a few days to see the sights – which they took full advantage of.
“There was just so much laughter and so much fun, that was a great thing,” Martin says. “Here we are playing a game of soccer on this tropical island, with the Diamond Head in the background, just a block away from the ocean – that was pretty special.”
Now back in Salmon Arm, the Jewels have their own home season to get ready for as competition in B.C.’s youth soccer leagues get under way.