A new soccer club is launching in Chilliwack.
Tzeachten FC is promising to prioritize inclusiveness and accessibility when players hit the field this spring.
With the population boom in Chilliwack over the last five years, Tzeachten Chief Derek Epp and the Tzeachten First Nation Council feel the time is right to bring another soccer opportunity to town.
Until now, Chilliwack FC has been the one youth soccer option for locals.
“Sport is a great equalizer,” Epp said. “When kids get on the field with a ball at their feet it’s all about fun and making friends. But for too long Indigenous youth in Chilliwack have faced barriers to playing organized sports, whether that was because of location, cost or not feeling welcome.
“We hope to provide a place where everyone can enjoy the game in a safe and positive environment. Chilliwack is growing and Tzeachten FC is for everyone. We can’t wait to welcome them here.”
The new club will be based on the Sardis side, taking advantage of Tzeachten’s facilities.
In 2017 Tzeachten First Nation created the Tzeachten Sports Complex, which includes a synthetic sports field with lights.
After running an adult soccer program for the past two years, Tzeachten First Nation is ready to open its fields to all youth soccer players, with focus placed on inclusivity, accessibility and affordability for all families, and positive, proactive development of all players regardless of ability.
Registration opens this spring with Tzeachten FC offering programs for players as young as four, up to adults.
Tzeachten FC will be open to anyone in the community, and the club already has a list of coaches ready to get on the pitch, supported by volunteers eager to bring soccer to Sardis. By ensuring that fees are manageable, the new club is looking forward to welcoming families who in the past have had to choose what activities their children can participate in based on cost over passion.
Glenn Wilson is on board as Tzeachten FC’s Technical Director, assuming his new role May 1.
He recently resigned from Chilliwack FC after 12 years, and looks forward to working with a group that shares his vision for affordable grassroots soccer.
“I am eager to share my vision with Derek and his team, and I’m hoping to be able to bring soccer to a whole new group of players who maybe have never had the chance to play,” he said. “We want to develop a love of soccer, to show kids they can grow and develop as players and as people. “Excellence in coaching and great relationships, that’s our goal. We want players to know they can play soccer for life.”
An application to join the Fraser Valley Youth Soccer Association is in process.
For more info, contact Epp by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 604-997-1186.