Vancouver Whitecaps officials Brett Adams and Craig Angus were in Terrace Nov. 19 proposing the idea of starting a Whitecaps Academy in three communities here in the north. With support from Terrace and pending support from Smithers and Prince Rupert assocations

Whitecaps soccer academy coming to Rupert

A Vanvouver Whitecaps FC soccer academy will be kick-starting in Terrace, Smithers and Prince Rupert next spring.

A Vanvouver Whitecaps FC soccer academy will be kick-starting in Terrace, Smithers and Prince Rupert next spring, aiming to build up the skill-level in the northwest and field more opportunities for youth.

The academy will employ a high-level Whitecaps coach in Terrace to run programs in the three communities year-round, training children and youth in the technical skills of soccer.

Besides boosting the level of competition in the north, the academy will open opportunities for youth to pursue the sport after high school, said Sean Bujtas, who is a coach with the Terrace Youth Soccer Association (TYSA) and actually prompted the academy’s move.

“I hope that it will help grow the sport, and will help us grow the calibre of player we’re producing in the northwest,” Bujtas said. “But more importantly, it should open doors for our kids to play soccer beyond Terrace.”

Right now, northwestern players rarely earn soccer scholarships because of the limited opportunities for them to be seen by scouts, Bujtas said.

“Most of our kids when they go to university, they have to do walk-on tryouts… but probably some of those kids could have gotten scholarships if they’d gotten seen.”

He says that the Whitecaps academy will provide a platform for the elite players of the northwest to travel and play more competitively where they can be seen by university scouts.

Whitecaps official Brett Adams said the academy will start in May and be based in Terrace, with the coach travelling weekly to Prince Rupert and Smithers to run programs there, provided they get support from those soccer associations.

Adams said they don’t know exactly how it will look yet, but it will involve bringing in a top-level coach.

“We would employ a highly qualified, full-time member of staff to live and work out of that area,” Adams said.

Whitecaps FC is an independent soccer company, however it works with the soccer associations and will organize programs around the regular summer schedule.

TYSA sent their support last week and, based on the enthusiasm of everyone at a meeting in Terrace Nov. 19, approval is expected from Smithers and Prince Rupert associations within the month.

“We are offering it to the three areas, and if there is an uptake, we will come,” Adams said.

There would be no cost to the associations and Bujtas says the idea was very well received.

“Everybody thought it was fantastic and great for the north,” Bujtas said.

He added that Terrace parents and TYSA directors “were very keen and see this as a great opportunity.”

The whole move was prompted by a simple phone call from Bujtas after provincials this summer, where he noticed emerging skill in the girls team from Nelson, where an academy opened in 2012.

Now if all goes as expected, youth ages 9-18 will tryout for the first Whitecaps academy north of Prince George next May.

 

Just Posted

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

Northwest local governments team up to fill in future employment gaps

Around 17,000 jobs will need to be filled in the region over the next eight years

Poetry month sees launch of “Oona River Poems” at Rupert library

Peter Christensen consciously and lovingly documents our physical and psychological landscapes

Lily Swanson celebrates her 90th birthday in Prince Rupert

The Acropolis Manor resident has 22 grandchildren and is a great grandmother to 25 children

Tenacious seven Rupert runners in Seattle

Jamie Komadina places 9th overall in her category at the Oiselle Tenacious Ten race on April 21

Prince Rupert students share portraits of kindness with children in Peru

The Memory Project gives teens a chance to sharpen their art skills and global awareness

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Haida youth travels to New York for UN forum on Indigenous issues

Haana Edensaw presented her speech in Xaad Kil, Masset dialect of the Haida language

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

Judge rejects hunter’s bid to get back a sheep shot in northern B.C.

Despite expert testimony, judgement says ram probably underage

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Most Read