New pro­grams a wel­come ad­di­tion


In the past two weeks, I have had the op­por­tu­nity to visit some of our new­est soc­cer sites in this re­gion. Soc­cer is alive and well and grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity.

I had the plea­sure to visit the new­est sites in Hant’s Har­bour and Avon­dale to con­duct train­ing ses­sions for their sum­mer coach­ing staff.

The lo­cal re­cre­ation com­mit­tee and mu­nic­i­pal coun­cils have sup­ported the es­tab­lish­ment of these pro­grams. Par­ents are also start­ing to re­al­ize the im­por­tance of pro­vid­ing their chil­dren with daily phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Many hockey play­ers are play­ing soc­cer be­cause it is an ex­cel­lent of­fice car­dio train­ing ac­tiv­ity.

Will soc­cer con­tinue to ex­pand in the com­ing years? I pre­dict we will be­come a soc­cer force to be reck­oned with in the next five to 10 years. We are pro­duc­ing bet­ter qual­ity play­ers each year who are more highly skilled and can com­pete with teams from much larger cen­tres. This is made pos­si­ble by hard work at the club level and through the fan­tas­tic work of in­di­vid­u­als such as Mike Power, Scott Betts and Ian Mar­shall, who of­fer camps to clubs in this re­gion.

Tip of the week

Is it bet­ter to sep­a­rate male and fe­male play­ers, or have them play to­gether on the same team? It de­pends on the size of the club and the age groups in­volved.

A small club will have no choice but to bring both groups to­gether to field a team. How­ever, as play­ers get older, they may not want to play on mixed teams.

I have seen pros and cons of both sce­nar­ios. Hav­ing girls play with boys in un­der-12, un­der-14 and un­der-16 age groups forces fe­male play­ers to raise the level of their game, which makes them bet­ter soc­cer play­ers.

How­ever, some girls don’t like com­pet­ing with the boys and of­ten­times end up quit­ting soc­cer. The ideal sit­u­a­tion is to have highly com­pet­i­tive male and fe­male teams, but that is not the re­al­ity in our re­gion.

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