In their second year, the Kwalikum Secondary School Centre for Soccer Excellence continues to draw students.
KSS students are enjoying the program for the second year now, after a successful and well-received debut last year.
Kwalikum athletic director Butch Gayton is pleased with the amount of positive feedback from both students in the program and others that are interested in joining.
It’s a positive sign that the program has the potential to expand it’s numbers even more and with sponsors starting to get on board, things are looking up.
“It’s a pretty neat thing we’ve got going,” Gayton said. “We’re able to get out to Arbutus Meadows to use their artificial pitch, we’ve got professional coaches and the kids out there are so talented. They love it a lot.”
Students are getting daily instruction in the game of soccer, both on and off the field. In the classroom, they’re learning about the ins and outs of staying fit, eating healthy and injury prevention, to name a few.
On the field, coach Sjell Broadsgaard is lending his years of professional experience in the game to help coach the students along to the next level.
“You can see the improvement from all the kids,” Gayton said. “They’re out there on the pitch two times a week and in the gym once a week, working on their games. They step out on the pitch for their teams they play on in the community and you can see everything they’ve been working on coming to life.”
“It’s been fantastic, both as a teacher and a coach, to see the development with this group of students.”
With the addition of Grade 8 to the high school system, Gayton sees the potential to have even more students joining up for the KSS Centre for Soccer Excellence.
“Our students that are here right now will be back again next year,” Gayton said. “It’s nice because they’re young enough to start out and really pick it up right away and then as they progress, they can still utilize these skills in the community league and during soccer season at school too.”
“We’ve been getting a lot of interest from Grade 8 and Grade 9 students with this thing and we’re always looking at the possibility of expansion.”
Expansion is something that’s becoming more and more of a realistic situation with the sponsor interest.
With a few in the works, the KSS Centre for Soccer Excellence has been lent a 15-passenger van from Vancouver Island Goalkeeping.
“We’ve got A Batt Above, who’s been helping us out with sponsorship,” Gayton said.
“They’ve been a tremendous help for us. Also, the van from the Goalkeeping School is a godsend. That gives us a chance to get all the kids there at one time both to and from where we need to get to. Of course, we’ve got parents that are always willing to lend a hand but this goes a long way in helping us out too.”