Players from the Gorge Spiders finished in 2nd place at the U13 Metro level SX Cup tournament recently.

Soccer season in full swing on Vancouver Island

Victoria's temperate climate allows the soccer season to begin in early autumn and extends to April.

If you’re a soccer mom or dad who spent the last weekend sheltering under an umbrella in a rain- soaked slicker as your child joined with their teammates to play a rousing game of soccer, you have Victoria’s temperate climate to thank.

British Columbia is the only province where the youth soccer season starts in September, the month when every other province’s youth soccer associations are holding their wind-up events.

“It can be a bit different for people who have come to B.C. from other parts of Canada where they are used to a summer soccer season,” admitted Karen Hood-Deshon, executive director of the Lower Island Soccer Association. “But it’s such a great game and such a great social environment, people don’t really mind if it gets a little wet out there at times. We’re fortunate to be able to play all winter long here.”

The season in Victoria begins in the early autumn and extends to April. Some league play, particularly the adults, play throughout the summer, and skill development camps and special summer leagues for children also operate in some areas.

But the bulk of the youth season is played in the fall and winter, when the odd rainy day in Victoria is pretty much inevitable. It does nothing, however, to dampen players’ spirits or their love of soccer.

“The weather is all part of the game, and it does nothing to dampen the spirits and enthusiasm of the kids and their parents. It’s just a great, active environment where the kids develop the physical literacy they need to lead an active lifestyle and the skills to they need to excel at this sport. At the same time, the parents and fans find a welcoming social environment where many make lifelong friends,” said Hood-Deshon.

She added the qualities of soccer, coupled with the relatively low cost of the sport for participants, combine to make soccer one of Victoria’s most successful youth sports. More than 8,000 children play the game on Vancouver Island, with more than 2,100 of them hailing from Victoria and Esquimalt.

“There are 10 local soccer associations on the Island, and the teams will all compete against one another in a coordinated schedule,” said Andrew Wynn-Williams, youth vice president of the Gorge Soccer Association.

“It’s a fantastic sport that provides great skill development and the opportunity for young people, from the little ones at the U13 age groups right up to the U18 players to meet kids from around the Island.”

Wynn-Williams added at the higher skill level premier and high performance leagues, young people have the opportunity to play against teams from outside B.C. in tournament and championship games.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bill Phelps’s life has changed since he was able to get a safe pharmaceutical alternative to fentanyl after his pain medication was cut off a couple of years ago. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Unhoused community in Greater Victoria struggles to access safe supply

Safer Victoria Project working to connect people sheltering outside with pharmaceutical alternatives

John Roney has been working on Beneath the Emerald Sea for about a year now and expects it to be released in fall of 2021. (Provided by John Roney)
Victoria man films underwater documentary about sea life around Vancouver Island

John Roney expects Under the Emerald Sea to be released in 2021

Cole Byers and Jasmine Grant are taking a leap of faith and opening The Rack Westcoast Bistro in Langford, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Langford residents making “all-in move” opening restaurant amid COVID-19 pandemic

Although The Rack Westcoast Bistro isn’t officially open yet, it’s serving anyone who wanders in

Victoria police are looking for information after a man was seen spray painting over a section of the More Justice, More Peace mural Oct. 31. (Victoria Police Department)
More Justice, More Peace mural vandalized days after new change

A man was seen spray painting over the artists’ statement Saturday morning

A 2.5-magnitude earthquake occurred beneath San Juan Island, Wash. – 25 kilometres from Sidney – late on Oct. 30. (Screenshot via United States Geological Survey)
Minor Washington earthquake felt in Sidney, Victoria

U.S. seismologists report 2.5-magnitude quake late Friday

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are looking for information about William Mack, last seen in Duncan on Oct. 28. (File photo)
Police searching for missing man last seen near Duncan

William Mack, 72, was seen on Gibbins Road on Oct. 28

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Most Read