A new soccer academy is set to launch at Eugene Reimer Middle School this fall.
In partnership with the Abbotsford Soccer Association (ASA), the school will welcome 60 students into the program (20 each from grades 6, 7 and 8).
Principal Ian Levings said it’s important for Eugene Reimer, a west Abbotsford school, to provide the same opportunities to students as other schools in the district – such as Abbotsford Middle and Senior Secondary schools, which already have soccer academies.
“It was really important for me to bring it in for equal access for our kids,” he said.
By folding soccer training into students’ school schedules each week, the program will free up some of their time outside school that may have otherwise been filled by sport, Levings said.
“It frees up a whole bunch of time for them just to relax and be kids,” he said.
ASA coach Alex Newby, who will be an on-field coach for the academy, said the program will serve more than just to build soccer skills.
“Sport can bring people together,” he said. “Especially people of different colour skin, different race or religious beliefs… bringing everybody together [as] one group.”
ASA technical director Ian Knight said the Reimer soccer academy will be unique in the region for its holistic approach to soccer training.
In addition to on-field training, students will receive regular soccer-related classroom instruction, including tactical training, history of the sport and nutrition.
“What we want to do is give them a greater insight and a greater appreciation for the game,” Knight said. “[We want to] give them some direction to help them personally and hopefully it makes them better people, not just better soccer players.”
Registration for Reimer’s soccer academy is currently open until May 1 to players competing on local U11 to U14 club teams. The academy requires a monthly fee of $60.
For more details, visit eugenereimer.sd34.bc.ca/node/25391.