New Sidney soccer club, P.A.C.E Football Club, is looking for youth and adult players for their teams.
Set up by longtime community coach Harj Nandhra, P.A.C.E describes itself as “a friendly, accessible club, open to all.”
Although newly created, the club say 70 youngsters signed up in their first week, allowing them to run a number of competitive junior teams for boys and girls, from U6 upwards.
Nandhra says his vision is for a true community club where no one is excluded from “the beautiful game.”
All coaches are volunteers, many of whom have kids playing in the junior teams.
“We’re looking to introduce people and to grow the game. It’s one of the most accessible games in the world, all you need are cleats and a ball, sometimes not even that,” he explains.
Nandhra says by securing sponsorships with local people, who volunteer their time, money and expertise, the club is able to offer training at cost. The Town of Sidney has also stepped up, offering access to Iroquois Field for practices. Nandhra says it is “unacceptable” for people to be denied access to the game because of financial pressures and says players only need to pay for their kit and insurance fees. He adds that anyone unable to pay those costs should contact the club as he will cover the costs, so no one is left out.
Juniors train on Thursday evenings at 5:15 p.m. and adults play on Sundays between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
One of the club’s representatives, Caitlyn Addlestone says of Nandhra, “He has gained a world of knowledge and skills, his mission is to make the game accessible to everyone in the community.”
P.A.C.E stands for Passion, Attitude, Commitment and Energy. The teams play in white jerseys and black shorts, and are known as the Wolfpack.
Currently, players compete in intra-squad small-side games against each other, but they hope to expand into regular September to March seasons, with adults playing 11-a-side. The club plans to operate year-round.
In keeping with soccer’s reputation as the global game, P.A.C.E encourages people of all skill and fitness levels to sign up.
“The focus is for everyone to be included and able to play,” says Addlestone. “My three children had a great time, it should be a positive year.”
Practice happens at Sidney’s Iroquois Field. Adult registration times will be posted shortly. For more information visit pacesocceracademy.com.