South Dundas Soccer now preparing for registrations

 

It may be buried under a foot or two of snow, but there is grass down there, and before you know it the soccer season  in South Dundas will be underway.

With the season just a couple of months off, the South Dundas Soccer Association is getting its soccer balls in order for upcoming registrations on Saturday, March 5 (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Thursday, March 24 (6-9 p.m.). Both registrations are being held at the Civic Centre in Iroquois.

Most everything remains the same as the past few years including the registration fee of $40. For the $40, players receive shirts, nine weeks of regular soccer action, and particpation in the closing tournament (three games and lunch).

The only change to the 2016 season is to the opening and closing weekends due to the August Civic holiday conflicting with the last weekend of July when the closing tournament is normally held.

To avoid play on the busy August Civic Holiday weekend, and to maintain the 10 weeks of play, the season will kick off Saturday morning, May 21st and the closing weekend tournament will be held Friday night, July 22 and Saturday, July 23.

“Last year we had about 400 kids and 67 volunteer coaches along with volunteers for the grounds and the canteen,” says Blancher. “We had 32 teams across five age divisions which included U-6, U-9, U-10, U-13 and U-18.”

At the bottom end of the association, Blancher says the association is looking forward to welcoming youngsters born in 2011 to their first season of soccer.

The association is delighted to continue to offer the program at $40 per player for the fifth consecutive year, and Blancher says, “it’s because we have been able to increase the sponsorship in the community.”

Last year’s soccer program was sponsored by Tim Hortons, Home Hardware, Riley’s Valu-mart, Giant Tiger, the Morrisburg Building Centre, Frank Ault Excavation and W.O. Stinson.

Other income was made at the volunteer-run snack bar and the closing tournament silent auction which raised $950 thanks to the family members who shopped and the community and individuals who donated all of the silent auction items.

All  money (registration, sponsorship, snack bar and silent auction) goes back into the program and helps to cover expenses for field maintenance, insurance, trophies and equipment (balls and soccer nets).  

“This year we have replaced all the nets in our five fields,” says Blancher.

With some 253 games of soccer played in 10 weeks, the soccer fields in Iroquois are busy spots on Saturday mornings. It is a big program, and it would not be successful without the support of the large number of volunteers (parents, students and soccer fans) who give of their time to coach, staff the canteen and to maintain the fields.

“We are always looking for volunteers,” says Blancher, “And we welcome anyone who would like to volunteer for the 2016 season.”

This year, the board is saying  a heartfelt goodbye and thank you to Jen Byvelds who has handled the treasurer/registration duties for the past three years. With Byvelds retiring, Angie Smail is taking over.

While the association is not as big as it was a few years back, Blancher says, “numbers have levelled off. There are so many options for kids to be doing these days that we are happy to still be here and to be holding our numbers at about 400.”

Due to the size of the program, getting the players registered in a timely fashion is imperative for the association to have the teams and coaches organized and ready to go for the May 21 opening day.

Players can be registered at either of the two registrations or by mail. Registrations by mail will be accepted until March 31st. Registration forms will be distributed through the local schools, and will  be available at southdundassoccer.org. and at various businesses throughout South Dundas.

 

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