The Prince Rupert Youth Soccer Association (PRYSA) held its year-end play days over the weekend, giving parents, coaches and players an opportunity to stretch their legs on the pitch together one last time before the summer break.
“It’s been a fun year,” said Donovan Dias, chair of the PRYSA. “And it’s always good to see everyone come together to play at the end of the season.”
Games were split up over three play days, with the U-5 and U-6 divisions playing on June 22, the U-8, U-10 and U-12 divisions playing on June 23 and the U-15 and U-16 divisions playing on June 25. Dias said approximately 500 players registered for youth soccer this season, which is slightly less than last year, but still a good number nonetheless.
“I think around the 500 mark is a pretty good threshold for a city of our size,” he said, adding that there were good turnouts for the majority of the league’s games and practices.
Dias said feedback from parents and coaches for the year was positive overall, especially the fact that the league was able to play the majority of its games at the Charles Hays Secondary School field.
“That was something we were able to do due to getting our scheduling figured out earlier to present to the Civic Centre,” he said.
The league also made use of the Civic Centre Arena space to get the younger divisions playing in April. Dias said this adjustment allowed the players and coaches to get excited about the upcoming year without having to worry about the unpredictability of Prince Rupert’s spring weather.
“By the time they came out in May, they were ready to go,” he said.
As the league looks ahead to its September AGM, Dias said volunteers and scheduling remain issues they hope to fine tune moving forward.
“We’d like to try and get some more time on the Charles Hays field if possible,” he said. “And we’re always looking for more refs, coaches and score-keepers.”
Overall, Dias said he is excited with the direction the league is trending in, especially with the news that Canada will host the 2026 World Cup in partnership with the United States and Mexico.
“It will be great to see maybe one or two or three of these kids make it up to that level,” he said. “So hopefully we’ll be able to do some things to build up the sport from a grassroots level and it would be great to see a kids from Prince Rupert playing for Canada a few years from now.”