Two and three-year-old kids may not completely understand the game of soccer, but they love kicking the ball around with their parents.
The Boundary Youth Soccer Association developed Kicks for Kids to introduce kids under the age of five to soccer.
“Kicks for Kids revolves around two basic components. The first one is physical literacy, so that is getting the little ones used to biomechanics: walking, running, kicking, all transferable skill sets that they can use in soccer, can use in hockey, that they can use across their lifespan,” said Kicks for Kids’ organizer and coach, Darren Pratt. “The second component is it’s an introduction to soccer.”
Boundary Youth Soccer Association president Jeff Olson, said it’s best to get kids involved in sport before they are nine or 10 and don’t have any sort of physical literacy.
“It’s about getting kids actively engaged in playing together and everything that it entails,” he said. “We use soccer as the medium, but it’s not the expressed goal to get them to be soccer players. The expressed goal is to get them active.”
Besides being active, it’s a chance for young kids to socialize with their peers and other parents in the community.
“It’s connectivity to broader community, it’s showing that these kids have a place in the broader community through sport,” said Pratt.
While the kids don’t play an actual soccer match at this level, there is still some structure to Kicks for Kids.
“This is just strictly having fun, but we do have specific drills and exercises that we do (with the kids).
The program is free for kids between the ages of two to four, but they still need to be registered through the Boundary Youth Soccer Association and parents have to be participants.
“Parents or caregivers have to participate,” said the soccer coach. “Parents/caregivers will be a child’s first teammate.”
The Boundary Youth Soccer Association was based off a European football club model, where kids start at a young age and grow with the sport.
“We want to make sure that kids feel welcome right from the get-go,” said Olson.
Kicks for Kids runs on Tuesday nights at 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday mornings at 11 a.m.
For more information go to www.boundaryyouthsoccer.com.