After a one-season sabbatical, fall soccer is returning to the area. Jeff Olsen, executive director of the Boundary Youth Soccer Association (BYSA), said there were a number of reasons why fall soccer didn’t run last fall but he said they have good numbers this year and are all ready to go.
“For fall we have a good turnout of kids,” said Olsen, “especially considering how much other stuff is going on like hockey. The West Boundary kids do 4H and other things. So we’ve got lots of kids.”
The league starts this Sunday at 9 a.m. until 12 noon at both Grand Forks Secondary School (GFSS) and at Christina Lake at the elementary school. Olsen said there are 135 kids registered for the league not including Kicks4Kids, which could be as high as 50.
Players can still register through the league website at boundaryyouthsoccer.com.
There are 16 teams playing in Under 7, Under 9, Under 11, Under 13 and Under 16. There is also a Kicks4Kids program for children aged 2-4 in both communities.
Unfortunately, this year BYSA is limited to the East Boundary (Grand Forks and Christina Lake) due to the lack of participants in the west end.
“West Boundary has no teams because they’re all too busy,” said Olsen. “We do, however, have a Kicks4Kids program running in Midway on Fridays. That’s on our website.”
The fall season, which is really short, wraps up on Oct. 4 with a final wrap-up tournament at GFSS.
Olsen said the focus of the league is to get kids excited about soccer and keep them playing.
“You get to play with your friends,” he said. “It’s athletic as well and healthy. It’s a positive choice to make in life. You’re not texting if you’re playing soccer.”
Olsen added that soccer is great for teaching kids coordination and teamwork.
“The big thing we’re about is long-term player development,” he said. “Do we care if kids go off into a AAA gold cup league? That’s not our goal. We want people to still be playing sports at 25, 30, 40 years of age. It’s a healthy direction in life.”
Olsen said they’re already seeing kids who played in the league who’ve aged out of the program and are now coming back and contributing by refereeing and coaching. “It’s great to see they’re interested enough to stick with it,” he said. “They’re giving back and getting back.”
Olsen said the league is very appreciative of the great support they’ve gotten from the community. “We’ve had huge support from the community, from the schools, from the businesses,” he said. “We can never thank all those people enough. All that help makes this program work.”