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Magrath Soccer Association registration closes Friday

Posted on March 21, 2024 by admin

By Heather Cameron
Westwind Weekly News

Registration for the 2024 Magrath Soccer season is open until March 22.

“The Magrath Soccer Association is a group of volunteers that has the goal to provide a quality soccer program to help promote physical activity to the children and youth within the town of Magrath,” said Jordan Smart, President of the Magrath Soccer Association.

The program, Smart says, is run by volunteers from the community of Magrath and surrounding the communities who love the game of soccer and want to provide children and youth to play the beautiful game of soccer, stay active, and learn skills that come from playing team sports. 

Program is funded on registration fees and donations from local businesses and families to help offset some of the fees.

The duration of the program, Smart says, starts mid-late April and runs all the way until the middle of June and the program is geared towards children and youth from age 4 to 18. The program, Smart says, is open to whomever would like to join from within the community and from other communities too.

“There are no tryouts,” Smart said. “The program’s goals and hopes are to try to get children and youth active in sport. We try to have all children and youth play or participate in the program in whatever capacity they can. The ages range from kids turning four years old that year and all the way up to 18, they still must be in high school to play. From age 4-9 is all in house. Once the kids reach grade 4 and 5, they play in a small multi town league with Raymond and Stirling. When they reach the age of 12-18 the teams play in the Sunny South Interleague which is a league that includes the towns of Cardston, Magrath, Raymond, Stirling, Coaldale, and Taber. As a program we are happy for the development of the children and youth in the community over the last few years. The kids that are in high school and play in the Sunny South Interleague U18 league have won the Championship the last two years.”

Coaches, Smart said, are adult volunteers and youth to support the kids to learn the game, and when parents register their child, they can submit whether they are available to volunteer or support. If they would like to be on the board and support the program that way, Smart said, there is an Annual General Meeting held every year that is open to the general public and can volunteer to do something on the board.

This program, Smart says has existed for a long time, long before 1996, as when the current president moved to Magrath as a child in 1996, there was a Magrath soccer program, and current parents with youth in the program played soccer in the program then or before then. however, however the Magrath Community Soccer Club was dissolved and was transitioned into the Magrath Soccer Association, and has been that since, Smart says.  After the renovations to the Magrath Elementary and High School, Smart says, the Soccer Association helped with the development of the field on the East end of the school so that the kids had another field to play on.

Playing the game of soccer. There are also opportunities for youth and adults to learn how to ref and ref the games as well. This is a great way for people to learn the rules of the game.

Soccer in Magrath has been around for many years, Smart says, and there has always been great community support to running this program and supporting physical activity for youth. 

“For many years as I grew up, it was run by Con Cole,” Smart said. “That is the namesake of the field on the north end of the town. He developed the land himself so that there would be a specific field for the older youth to play on. There are a lot of skills that come with playing soccer that can support the developments and skills of other sports. Soccer players are known to be some of the most fit athletes on the planet, where they are in constant movement for at least 45 minutes straight and can involve jogging, sprinting, walking, jumping, kicking, and tackling. You can transfer a lot, not all of those skills into any other sport you are playing when not playing soccer. Learning to work, grow, sacrifice, and depend on team members for support and other values that are important to develop in children and youth. Those attributes will support those kids in other aspects of their lives and help draw a community together. Teamwork, perseverance, dedication, decision making, problem solving, Responsibility are other attributes that people can learn from soccer. Any type of physical activity is very important to child and youth physical and mental wellbeing.”

Smart says that those who want to register for the season can do so at: 

“There have been studies to show that the COVID-19 pandemic really affected the physical and mental health of the youth,” said Smart. “There has been a slow uptake into sports post the recent pandemic, but we are getting kids back playing again to pre-pandemic levels. It has been shown in research that at least 20 mins physical activities can help anxiety and stress and negative thinking. Personally, I am biased, I think soccer is amazing and would love to see all the children and youth play soccer. You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment and can be played as simple as 1v1 all the way up to 11 versus 11. You can use a ball or anything as the ‘ball’ and some rocks or shoes for nets. You can make it as simple as you want or as complicated. It is an easy game for anyone to pick up and play, although the offside rule still puzzles some. I also want to see kids active in any sport or physical activity that the community provides. I hope more kids decide to play and that the community can continue to rally around the kids to play and help the program provide a quality product.”

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