Gate City Youth Soccer saw record breaking numbers this year in their recreational league, but more athletes participating means more coaches are needed. The Director of Recreation caught up with us today to tell how they were able to raise both numbers, and quality, of the Portneuf Valley Soccer Club.
“It’s such a great thing to look out there at 8 o’clock in the morning and you’ll see 10 fields each packed with kids playing soccer,” said Robert Raschke of Gate City Youth Soccer.
10 fields packed is an understatement this season, with over 1300 kids participating in the rec league, and over 200 additionally in their competitive program making it the second largest program in the state.
“It’s a compliment to our parents and to our players,” said Raschke, “they’re the ones that really help to make this program work because our parents are our volunteer coaches.”
The rec league’s coaches aren’t paid, typically being a relative of someone on the team, and even though the job is a tough time commitment they didn’t have a hard time supplying the growing demand this year.
“Often times we’ll get a mom or a dad or a brother or a sister that has played soccer and that’s key because they’ve actually gone through a program where they’ve had some official training by a licensed coach. But training for coaches, we bring down our Director of Coaching from the Idaho Youth Soccer Association, they come down and do a training for us.”
With as physical of a sport as soccer is, some might be apprehensive about letting their kids get involved in a team where the coach might not have had a whole lot of experience, but Gate City Youth Soccer takes pride in taking care of the athletes.
“We have somebody at the field every Saturday; we’re staffed for whatever comes up for your basic first aid, and then we are contracted for a company that’s available for us so if we get a bigger injury than we can handle on the field, they’re a phone call away,” added Raschke.
Robert also told us their 2 objectives are safety and fun, and things are still looking good as they head into their third weekend of games.