Copper Sheardown tries to push the ball between Frankie Joe (left) and Colton McKinnon (right) as Jerome Blais looks on during the Haines Junction Soccer Fest on May 26. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Haines Junction soccer players get back to basics with Soccer Fest

‘For the size of that community, it’s very, very well done’

The focus was squarely on fun at the Haines Junction Soccer Fest on May 26.

Ranging in age from five to 14, the 27 participants took part in games and activities during the one-day festival at St. Elias Community School in Haines Junction.

Organizer Cindi Cowie with the Haines Junction Soccer Club said Soccer Fest, developed and sponsored by Canada Soccer, is meant to present soccer in a fun, non-competitive environment for players.

“They’re trying to do this in all the different communities all over Canada,” said Cowie. “It can’t be competitive — it has to be grassroots. It’s not a championship or anything like that.”

This year was the fifth time the club has held the event, and Cowie said it has grown over time.

“Really when it started, we had maybe 15 kids and it’s grown,” said Cowie. “Last year I’m pretty sure we had 49 participants.”

Cowie said the downtick this year was due to a combination of factors.

Close to a dozen players from Haines Junction weren’t able to make it to the event due to other commitments and the contingent of players travelling from Whitehorse was also lower than usual.

Despite the turnout, Cowie said the feedback from players was positive.

“The kids said it was really fun. They really enjoyed having Callum (Weir) and Kaelen (Lewis), the two youth coaches,” said Cowie. “They know [Weir] in particular because he coaches them sometimes, so that was kind of fun.”

Joining Cowie, Weir and Lewis on the field were coaches Martin Jahr, John MacPhail and Derric Lewis.

MacPhail, executive director for the Yukon Soccer Association, said he’s been helping out with the event since the beginning.

“It’s a fantastic afternoon to work with kids and just put the fun back into soccer,” said MacPhail. “No instruction — just let the kids play.”

The event is a reflection of the growth of soccer in the community, something MacPhail credits to Cowie and Jahr.

“It’s fantastic,” said MacPhail. “The job they’re doing down there is fantastic. For the size of that community, it’s very, very well done.”

The Yukon Outdoor Championships are rapidly approaching from June 8 to 10.

Haines Junction will field a team of U11 girls coached by Jahr and a handful of other players will also compete, joining teams from Dawson City.

Soccer players in Haines Junction looking for more opportunities to play also won’t have to wait long as Jake and Malory Hanson are hosting a three-day camp from June 12 to 14 at St. Elias Community School. The cost is $50 per player and registration can be done at the camp on June 12.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon government releases WCC inspection report

The report contains 40 recommendations on how facilities and services at the WCC should be improved

No new forensic unit planned for Whitehorse’s hospital

Justice says hospital may expand services it offers inmates but not enough to qualify as ‘forensic’

NDP decries lack of ‘urgency’ in governments response to WCC inspection

‘The reality is that the longer this goes on the less humane our prison system is in the territory’

Whitehorse Correctional Centre report a ‘starting point’ to address justice system issues, CYFN says

CYFN executive director Shadelle Chambers says the justice system ‘requires fundamental changes’

Paddlers ride down the Yukon River in the annual Chili and Beans Race

‘We’re always trying to find ways to keep people active’

Gymkhana tests Yukon horses and riders

‘I don’t ever want somebody to leave feeling like they didn’t accomplish some kind of goal’

Whitehorse volunteers turn to GoFundMe to raise cash for thrift store

The Whitehorse Community Thrift Store is hoping to raise $70,000 in ‘seed money’

The air up there: why you should buy a plane

Hell is other people. If you own a plane you can fly away from them

What to ask when you take your car to the shop

A visit to your garage, tire shop, dealership or repair shop can… Continue reading

Whitehorse resident Steve Roddick announces bid for council

Housing, consultation top list of priorities

Cozens, Team Canada off to strong start at Hlinka Gretzky Cup

Canada rolls through Switzerland and Slovakia to set up showdown with Sweden

Selkirk First Nation says chinook salmon numbers similar to last year’s

Sonar on the Pelly River had counted just more than 7,900 chinook as of Aug. 5

Most Read