Soccer program helps make the North Shore great
MP JOHN WESTON
West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country
Four North Shore soccer teams recently participated in the elite B.C. provincial soccer championships, in Penticton and 100 Mile House. The event demonstrated more than prowess on the soccer pitch; it was a testimony to the benefits of a community which works together, plays together, volunteers together, and succeeds together.
To reach the final eight of their divisions, the four West Vancouver teams prevailed over 40 to 50 competing teams; and they requited themselves magnificently: the U13 Girls "Lightning" placed 6th; the U14 Boys "Spuraways" placed 5th; the U15 Girls "Spuraways" came second; and the U17 Boys "Spuraways" won in their division.
The skills of our youth were highlighted by their results, and the tournament underlined something further. Our soccer program brings out some of the best aspects of a community. How many hundreds of hours do parents volunteer to coach our teams? How many thousands of hours do parents volunteer to chauffeur our youth to their practices and games? What about the time parents spend together on the sidelines to share our respective roles in this community, as parents, as volunteers, as role models?a
Our soccer program is about more than athletics. The Duke of Wellington is quoted as saying that "the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton" because sport develops character. Our young people learn cooperation, perseverance, respect.
Outcomes like these justify our federal government's investment in a new artificial turf field at Ambleside; and the community's commitment to improve field sports facilities at Ambleside Park, under Bill Sparling's leadership as president of the West Vancouver Soccer Club.
As a "Soccer Dad" and M.P. for West Van and part of North Van, my hat goes off to all those who contribute to good character traits of our youth here on the North Shore.