Clock ticking for youth soccer; players needed

If you’re planning to sign your kids up for youth soccer in the Boundary area, then time is running out.

The deadline is Feb. 15 and if there aren’t enough kids signed up, the league won’t be able to go ahead, says Jeff Olsen, president of Boundary Youth Soccer Association.

“We need to get 250 kids signed up… from Rock Creek to Christina Lake, there are 900 kids in that area,” Olsen says.

“The kids without a doubt are out there, we wouldn’t have gone ahead unless we’d crunched the numbers and seen what we had.”

Olsen says that everyone he talks to is eager to sign up, but hasn’t yet.

“Habitually people have signed up for soccer the day of soccer,” he says. “That’s just not going to work.”

He says it won’t work because the association needs the money to be committed.

“We need to train coaches, we have to wait for equipment to arrive,” Olsen says. “So unless we get the registration now… it isn’t going to happen and that’ll be a hard decision to make, but it’ll be based on numbers.”

He says the whole season hinges the next two weeks, and adds that it’s just the reality when you have a league, because the teams play on different fields with different coaches, making scheduling more complex.

“We’ve really kept the focus on doing this properly, with making sure the coaches get proper training and everything.”

Olsen says he’s not worried about getting enough coaches, because “you can always recruit from your registration” by calling up parents whose kids are on the team.

“The whole thing relies on volunteers,” he says. “Without registration, I don’t know who to phone.”

Olsen says that parents are often dissuaded by the weather, but he says the time is needed and is standard in sports that need preparation.

“You can’t go to a baseball diamond the day of baseball and sign up, you know they just say ‘oh sorry.’”

He hopes that in a few years they will have a league that includes anyone under 18. The first game is scheduled for April 10 and Olsen is hoping to have 26 to 30 teams between the five age divisions of four to 13-year-olds.

See www.boundaryyouthsoccer.com for more information.