Youth soccer broadens horizons 

Pemberton, Whistler clubs join Squamish league

The good news is that Whistler and Pemberton intermediate youth soccer teams will have more competition this fall as they join the Squamish Youth Soccer Association. The bad news is that this will mean more travelling time for both communities, as all games are scheduled to take place in the Squamish area from mid-September to the end of October.

"It’s an experiment for us," explained Sandra Martin of the Pemberton Youth Soccer league. "We want to see how we handle all the travelling and how we fit into the schedule. After November we’ll see if the kids want to stay in it (the Squamish league), and how they feel about it afterwards.

"It’s going to be different for us. In the past we just played each other every week, we were never really part of a competitive league like this."

Mount Currie has not yet joined the Squamish league, but Martin hopes they will join this fall as well. The decision to join will only apply to kids in the Under 11 (U11) category and up, while the Under 9s will continue to play in the community.

Pemberton has more than 250 kids on 11 teams and Whistler has over 200 players that can join the Squamish league this year. Squamish already has several teams in each age category and more than 850 players.

Although joining the Squamish league means more travelling this year, Martin believes it will help to lay the foundations for a larger Sea to Sky league with games taking place in all of the participating communities. Even the Sunshine Coast is interested in taking part, she says.

The Pemberton Youth Soccer League and Whistler Youth Soccer Club have both hired league administrators this year to help manage the growing number of players and teams, and to help with the transition into the Squamish Youth Soccer Association’s fall league.

Registration for the PYSL is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 10, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Pemberton Community Centre. Contact club administrator Val Fowler at vaf@telus.net if you have any questions or can’t make the registration night.

The WYSC is holding its annual registration night and boot swap on Thursday, Sept. 9 at Myrtle Philip Community Centre, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The club will also have a table at Strut Your Stuff on Saturday, Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., although spots are only available on a first-come, first-served basis – due to the growing popularity of youth soccer and the limited number of coaches and support staff, the club may have to limit enrolment.

More coaches and volunteers are welcome to join the club. There will be a coaches meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Myrtle Philip Community Centre lounge.

Contact club administrator Linda McGaw at linski@telus.net for more information.

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