Close to 100 Kootenay Academy soccer players, ranging from U-10 to U-18 boys and girls, along with their coaches attended a weekend coach/player development session in Vancouver at the end of October.
The trip was coupled with the Okanagan academy and included players from Nelson, Castlegar, Greenwood, Trail, Fernie, Kimberly, Cranbrook and Invermere.
The adventure began on Saturday (October 25) morning as the group left from Nelson on busses at 7 a.m.
Arriving in Vancouver mid-afternoon, the group had two development sessions with the Vancouver pre-residency and academy head coaching staff.
Sunday there was a classroom session in the morning educating the players about the “Whitecaps Way.”
Then there was an onfield session in the morning and a trip to the BC Place Stadium in the afternoon to cheer on the Vancouver Whitecaps.
All of the players were pitch side for the warm up and had the chance to get autographs and pictures with the players. The game was a thrilling spectacle and with a 3-0 home win the players went to bed that night happy indeed.
Monday morning was a chance for the players to take part in a mini-tournament with their age group. This is where the children had a chance to express themselves in a game situation. Then the players jumped back on the bus and made their way back to Nelson.
“The weekend was an unbelievable experience for all involved, not just for the players but the staff and parents. The attitude of the players and the way they conducted themselves is a credit to their families and the Kootenay community,” said Brett Adams, Kootenay regional head coach.
“I was brimming with pride the whole weekend to see 96 of the players giving it their all. I would like to thank everyone involved for making this happen, a lot of hard work goes into these events and the staff, chaperones, parents, players all made this possible. We are already excited to plan the next event.”