Video and Story: Year-end play days end Prince Rupert’s youth soccer season

The Prince Rupert Youth Soccer Association (PRYSA) wrapped up their season with their year-end play days June 24.

Teams from the association’s girls and boys divisions braved the weekend’s rainy conditions and played in multiple games culminating in a series of parents vs player matches where the young athletes got to show off their improved skills.

The PRYSA season runs from the end of April till the end of June, ending with the play day where all teams within each division play each other in a series of exhibition games. The league’s under-6 to under-10 divisions played their games at the Roosevelt elementary school field while the under-12 teams played at Charles Hays Secondary School.

PRYSA vice-chair Leigh-Anne Magnusson said while the weather wasn’t ideal, the event was an overall success.

“It was a typical Rupert soccer day I would think,” she said. “The kids had fun, they all got medals, they all participated and we got to raise some money for the parent advisory committees.”

Magnusson also said both parents and their children looked forward to their games against each other, saying it is usually the highlight of the day.

“We do that every year,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun, the parents bring out their inner kids and I think it’s their favourite part of the day.”

Emily Kawaguchi is a co-ordinator for the under-8 boys division. She thanked the volunteers who coach and help to organize the league for more than 600 participants. Kawaguchi added that participation in soccer is a good way to keep children active and outside.

“It’s active and everyone’s off the couch and there’s some goal scoring,” she said. “There’s some teamwork lessons learned. It’s just a really good experience for them to be outside in the fresh air learning camaraderie, working together and learning how to win and how to lose.”

Magnusson said there is also an effort underway to refurbish the Roosevelt fields so they will be better suited for games. She said the movement is called the ‘Drain the swamp initiative’ and it’s being led by Will Spatt, one of the team’s coaches. Spatt has put together a proposal which he is taking to local organizations in Prince Rupert to generate financial support for improving the fields.

“Hopefully, the work will include draining and resurfacing,” Magnusson said.

“It will be good as many different groups use those fields in addition to soccer, and improvements will make them more useable.”

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