Nelson Youth Soccer action started on Wednesday and on Saturday the pitches will be packed.

Nelson Youth Soccer action started on Wednesday and on Saturday the pitches will be packed.

Celebrating the soccer season in Nelson

This weekend winter will be officially ousted when the Lakeside playing fields come alive with young soccer players.

This weekend winter will be officially ousted when the Lakeside playing fields come alive with young soccer players.

Winter lovers had a bounty of snow to keep them busy for the last few months and chilly temperatures held on for a little too long for some. But now that the grass has hued into green and the buds on trees are emerging, it’s time to embrace the new season.

If Mother Nature agrees — the forecast for Saturday looks promising — Nelson Youth Soccer players of all ages will descend on the playing fields.

Soccer season is really a celebration of community. The largest sports organization in the region, Nelson Youth Soccer will have almost 1,000 kids kicking the ball around this spring. It’s the world’s game and over the past few years thousands of Nelson area youth have joined the fun.

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to take in Super Saturday during a Nelson spring, it’s more than just the sport. Parents and supporters assemble along the sidelines with their lawn chairs, sipping their morning coffee and cheering the kids on. It’s a chance to catch up with friends and get to know each other a little bit better.

All of this in one of the most incredible natural stadiums on the planet. With pitches along the shoreline of Kootenay Lake and Elephant Mountain helping frame the scene, it’s one of the reasons people choose to make this area their home.

Though Nelson’s forefathers may have made some mistakes on our city’s waterfront — either through necessity of the times or bad judgement — the playing fields and pathway are an example of fantastic planning.

It takes an incredible amount of energy to pull off a youth sport season of any sort. The volunteer hours put in by association brass, coaches and parents can never be repaid. But it never hurts to give a simple thanks.

Sport is one of the pillars of overall community health. With soccer being the biggest of them all, it’s time to celebrate the beautiful game. To all participants, parents and planners… have a great season.