Soccer season has kicked off in the Upper Columbia Valley. Rep players with the Columbia Valley Youth Soccer Association have donned their cleats and been out practicing since Thursday, April 2nd and house league players will follow suit on Tuesday, April 30th.
“We’re probably the largest organized sport in the valley, with 300 kids. I don’t think anything else comes close,” said Jim Collins, the association’s chairman.
“The sport has grown a lot, especially with women now in the Olympics,” he added.
The association caters to soccer players age 6 to 18. It has 22 house league teams (which play mostly for fun and skill development) and five rep teams (which are competitive and travel to play rep teams from other areas).
The only age group under-represented in the association is 12 to 15-year-old boys, which Collins said he finds puzzling, since there are plenty of 12 to 15-year-old girls playing soccer.
“Maybe too many of those boys are playing video games instead of soccer,” said Collins. “Soccer is an active sport; it’s a cheap sport. All you need is one ball for every 20 kids, and pretty much anybody can play it.”
Practices and games are Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Mt. Nelson Athletic Field behind J. Alfred Laird Elementary School. House league players are on the field from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m and rep players from 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Collins has been working with the association, starting as a coach, for at least 15 years and says its success is due in large part to a good core group of volunteers.
Written by reporter Steve Hubrecht