GRAVENHURST - The season hadn’t even started yet, but the excitement sure had.
Last week (April 24), the Gravenhurst Minor Soccer Association got its 2012 season kickoff underway with its annual meet-the-coach night, as dozens upon dozens of eager young players poured into the Muskoka Beechgrove Public School gym.
Association president Amber McTaggert has about 150 youths from the ages of four to 14 registered already and while registration technically closed that evening, she said there are often latecomers, especially come the summer, and they’re welcome. The goal is to learn the game, have fun, make friends and get some fresh air and exercise.
“Especially for the four-year-olds, the game is a first chance for many of them to play on a team, learn that social interaction and it’s great exercise for them,” McTaggert said.
During the meet-the-coach night, the young players were handed their team jerseys, many of them their first ever. McTaggert said she and the nearly 20 volunteer coaches hope the thrill of becoming part of a team and learning to love soccer will become a lifetime habit for their young charges.
There are 18 teams total split into age groups, including an introductory league for the youngest of the players. Beyond the volunteers that coach, assist and administrate the league, McTaggert also gave praise to the nearly 15 main league corporate sponsors.
“We have amazing people in this town, very amazing. We couldn’t run the league without them,” she said.
Games are played on the Gravenhurst High School pitch with two games on Monday evenings, and single games on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, starting at 5:30 p.m. The league just began this past Monday, April 30 and runs through June. If anyone would like to register their children or for more information, contact McTaggert at 705-684-9215.