Pride on the soccer pitch

Sport is an important thread in the fabric of any community.

Sport is an important thread in the fabric of any community. It’s not only an outlet for a healthy lifestyle, but success in sport helps bring extra pride to place.

Last weekend, eight Nelson Youth Soccer Association rep teams took part in the Kootenay playdowns. The various age groups in the Nelson Selects program — the name the club gives its rep teams — branched out to different locations across the East and West Kootenay in an attempt to qualify for the Provincial B Cup championships at the start of July.

This week we have featured the results in our sports section (Wednesday the boys side of the story and today the girls). The results are impressive. Seven of the eight teams qualified for the provincials. The only team that didn’t make it, missed by a single goal.

Young Nelson athletes have once again put an exclamation mark on the fact this town is a soccer power in the Kootenays. Communities like Trail, Castlegar and Cranbrook have many talented athletes and the blue collar nature of their towns ensures they are always strong. Yet, we generally come out on top when it comes to soccer.

This success is made possible by a total community effort. It’s the athletes who get it done on the pitch, but without the proper facilities and support it’s not possible. Over the last few years, the City of Nelson and the Regional District of Central Kootenay has put resources into improving its recreational facilities. Spending money on the Lakeside pitches, the Nelson and District Community Complex and the SoccerQuest facility has helped enable the kids to strive towards excellence.

A hearty congratulations to all the young athletes, their coaches and their parents for such an impressive accomplishment. We are fully behind you as you take on the extremely stiff competition from much larger centres next month in North Vancouver and Prince George. Regardless of whether you return home with a medal, you have already made us very proud.