Islanders organize to form official soccer club for Orcas

  • Sun May 6th, 2018 1:30am
  • Sports

Submitted by the Orcas Football Club

A group of committed islanders has banded together to assist Orcas Island Park and Rec (OIPRD) in improving the structure, coordination and level of coaching for all soccer players on Orcas Island. We are proud to announce the newly formed Orcas Island Football Club.

OIFC is being launched to foster our community’s love of soccer by providing new opportunities, improved skill-building and an inclusive community culture. We need your help this Spring to fundraise $5,000 through the Orcas Island Community Foundation’s Give Where You Live campaign. Please donate now at www.giveorcas.org.

Funding from this grant will help OIFC achieve three key goals: implement a new “academy” model of coaching and player development; increase offering of leagues and games; and provide an inclusive soccer atmosphere for all youth and adults who play on Orcas.

This Spring, OIFC has already begun to implement the “academy” approach, which supported many of our stellar high school players in becoming coaches for younger players. Not only did this prove to be an invaluable personal and professional development activity, but it is inspiring younger generations to follow in the footsteps of successful role models showcasing skills in sportsmanship and teamwork.

At the head of the academy is a more formal coaching/training director to assist players and volunteer coaches in developing a more uniform set of skills, without reinventing the wheel each season. From this infrastructure, OIFC will work to provide new opportunities for islanders, like a 3-on-3 tournament, a ‘traveling team’ option coordinated with Skagit Valley Youth Soccer Association and viewing parties for big games.

Soccer (football to the rest of the world) is the world’s most popular sport, and for good reason. With just a ball and your feet, youth and adults alike can kick around for hours on end, developing coordination, mindfulness, physical fitness, and appreciation for the improvisation that soccer allows. Add some friends, a field, maybe even some tricky footwork, and the game develops into a strategic chess match played out more than 90 minutes with a high degree of physical and mental effort required.

Orcas Island is an ideal place for a thriving soccer club to take root. More than 60 youth players participate in fall and spring seasons each year. These players benefit from a free gear swap for shoes and shin guards, an easy after-school walk to the fields, and now a more visible path toward competing at the highest levels of soccer across the state. Let’s keep it up and make it even better.

For more information and to get involved, email Brooke Bruland at brookeb@oiprd.org.