Football will be coming to Esquimalt for the first time in years for the upcoming spring season.
The Victoria Spartans Canadian Football Association, which is a part of the Vancouver Island Canadian Football Association, will be hosting its first spring league at Brodeur Field on Head Street beginning in March. Previously, the association operated out of the West Shore, but is now hoping to draw younger players, including First Nations, from Victoria and Esquimalt into the ranks.
“It’s very exciting. It’s new ground for our association, but we’re ready and eager to participate in this and we’ve been working hard to get it off the ground,” said Victoria Spartans Football association president Allen Lavoie.
Victoria Spartans Football was originally established in 1987 and recently celebrated its 30th season. Over the years, the association has drawn players from around Greater Victoria to play in the West Shore, but have been eyeing a location that’s more centralized.
As well as operating in a new location, the association will be offering a spring football league in addition to its regular season in the fall.
The season, which includes two practices throughout the week and a game on the weekend, will begin in early March for atom (for kids born between 2007 and 2009), pee wee (kids born in 2005 and 2006), and junior bantam players (those born in 2003 and 2004). The Spartans will take on other teams in Saanich, Gordon Head, Sooke, the West Shore and the Peninsula until the end of the season in June.
Lavoie called football the ultimate team sport that teaches discipline and good exercise to kids of many ages.
“There’s a role for everybody on the team. Big kids can be linemen, little kids can be receivers, defensive backs. There’s a place for all kinds of talent on a football team,” Lavoie said.
Lavoie already sees potential in Esquimalt, as plans are being developed to continue to operate the fall football program in the township as well.
Registration for the spring season has already begun. The cost is $175, and the league supplies the gear with the exception of cleats. For more information or to register visit spartansfootball.ca.