Tournament commemorates legendary coach

Tournament will host teams from cross the province, including the Creston Blitzz, the Salmon Arm Warriors and the Kootenay South Saints.

The water fountain at Lakeside Park has an interesting backstory, for those curious enough to ask.

Years ago legendary Nelson coach Terry Walgren decided that the current fountain was too far away to walk during games. After he passed in 2003, his friends installed a new one midfield that sees regular use today.

“The kids use it constantly. It’s perfectly situated between the two pitches,” said Chuck Bennett, chair of Nelson Youth Soccer.

That fountain is only one way Nelson soccer enthusiasts are keeping Walgren’s memory alive. Another is with the upcoming Nelson Youth Soccer Association’s upcoming Terry Walgren Tournament, which runs from today to Sunday and will host over 50 games.

“Terry was a great player and a great guy. He’s one of the core guys in Nelson who got soccer up and running,” Bennett said. He said before Walgren’s intervention, Nelson was primarily a hockey town. He believes that without him and others who introduced the sport to the Kootenays, the popularity of soccer wouldn’t be where it is today.

“He was always involved, always coaching,” said Bennett. “He was an extremely talented player.”

Bennett said the tournament has been growing for many years, and last year grew from being an exclusively female event to now include their male counterparts.

“We’re looking to become the preeminent tournament in the Kootenays and I think we’re on the right track,” said Bennett.

He said some players and members of the community have asked who Walgren was, and he hopes that through the tournament they can “keep his memory alive.”

Walgren grew up in Nelson in the 1970s, during the infancy of the Nelson Youth Soccer Association. He graduated from L.V. Rogers and played for the Simon Fraser Clansmen and the University of Alberta Golden Bears.

Though he was exceptional player, Walgren’s real passion was coaching. He earned an NCCP level III certification. Throughout a lengthy convalescence, he continued to mentor and inspire young players and coaches. At the time of his passing in 2003 he was the highest rated coach in Nelson.

Walgren coached and played for the Nelson Inn Keepers and aided the women’s team make it to provincial championships. He was a part of the soccer programs in Trail, Kitimat, Kispiox, Fruitvale, Castlegar, Creston and Terrace.

Perhaps it’s appropriate, then, that the tournament that bears his name will host teams from cross the province, including the Creston Blitzz, the Salmon Arm Warriors, Kootenay South Saints and Fernie United, as well as many others.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Finding support at Community Connect

The 10th annual event offered free services, clothing and food on Saturday

RDCK calls for reversal of Sinixt extinction

The board opposed a land transfer to the Westbank First Nation this week

Nelson city council to update banner policy

Council will revisit the wording of the policy at its December meeting

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

Meteorite fragments found near Crawford Bay

The pieces came from the fireball that exploded over Kootenay Lake in September

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Man pleads guilty to Leafs recycling depot theft

Dezmond Waggoner had been charged with theft over $5,000

Nelson Leafs stretch winning streak to six

Jack Karran scored twice in the Leafs 6-3 win over Fernie

Nelson city hall selling bear-proof garbage bins

The city has purchased 100 bins and is charging residents $205

COLUMN: Will West Kootenay forests survive?

As with most things around ecology, the answer is not simple, says columnist Greg Utzig

Julien Locke races to NST World Cup berth

Black Jack cross-country skier Julien Locke races to first place at World Cup qualifier

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Most Read