“Rain, shine, snow and wind…we have had it all,” soccer organizer Alicia Johnson-Hargrave stated at the end of soccer practice. Many of the parents, kids and coaches were all dripping wet from an earlier downpour, but all were in good spirits. Soccer enthusiasts from age 4 to 8 were all out on the field – 84 young athletes in total.
The seven week long soccer program is run by four adult coaches and four high school student coaches. “It is a mentoring program for the high school kids and our young players,” said Hargrave. “We teach basic skills through games.” The program’s success has a well documented history of over 30 years behind it. “This program has been so successful because of all the coaches and coordinators who volunteer their time,” explained Hargrave. “The volunteers have helped us to keep the program’s costs low.”
The Youth Soccer Program fee includes; a team photo, a t-shirt and an ice cream at the final session.
Hargrave herself has dedicated many years to the program. She has been coaching for eight years and has ten years playing experience behind her. She thanks Norm Druck who coaches the Grade 2s and 3s, Rene Hartwell, the Kindergarten/Grade 1 coach and Aaron Hough the pre-school coach. “It is these guys who make this program work.”
The program is a great way for families to get together. The kids get to burn off some steam, learn some new skills and make some new friends. The atmosphere is relaxed and the goal is to keep the whole experience very positive for the young athletes. “We want every kid to have fun, that’s the bottom line at the end of the day,” said Hargrave. “We want to see the smiles,” Druck stated.
A simple formula has been a winning formula for many years. Hundreds of local kids have played their first ever game of soccer on the same fields. If the smiles, even through the rain, are any indication of whether the same formula is still working or not today—that answer is yes.