The Niagara-on-the-Lake Soccer Club is gearing up for another summer of the beautiful game. In-person registration takes place this weekend at the arenas in Virgil from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Officials from the club will be there to answer any questions.
The NOTL Soccer Club offers programs for boys and girls born in 2015 and earlier. The club’s ever-popular Timbits program is designed to encourage children to be active and to learn to enjoy the game. “The focus, especially in the early ages, is on fun and skill development. The competitive aspect of the game comes in at the older ages, when kids have learned the skills from our volunteer coaches,” says club president Ted VanderKaay. The volunteer aspect of the club, especially when it comes to the coaching, is key to its success, he adds.
According to VanderKaay, one of the mandates of the club is to give kids opportunities to play the game in their own community. “We have probably the best soccer fields in the region, as the Town staff does a great job maintaining the facilities. It would be a shame to have these kids playing elsewhere and bringing their energy to another community.”
There are opportunities as well for more competitive soccer, in the form of travel, or “rep” teams at various age groups. In fact, for the first time in many years, there will be a team wearing the Rangers colours in the men’s PSL league.
VandreKaay also wants to remind young people that there are opportunities for them to build their leadership skills and earn a bit of money over the summer as referees. The club is currently encouraging boys and girls 12 years old and up to consider taking a referee clinic with the goal of officiating games this summer.
VanderKaay assures everyone that you don’t have to show up for the in-person registration this weekend. It’s just as easy to register and pay online at www.notlsoccer.org if that’s what you prefer. And he encourages parents to register as coaches if they are at all interested. The house league season will kick off in late May for most age groups, with the Timbits division beginning in June.