Edward Milne Community School has a girls soccer team for the first time in about eight years.
The team is coached by Tim Statterford, who has been coaching for the last 30 years, and also coaches the Sooke Division 3 women’s team.
“I was approached by a young girl who said she could probably round up a pretty good team, but they didn’t have anyone to coach them, so I said, ‘I’ll do it,” Statterford explained.
All of the players on the team are in grades 10 and 11, and most already play for club teams.
The team was late signing up for league this year so all the games are exhibition, but Statterford sees this as an opportunity for the girls to get to know each other and get used to playing with each other, before getting more competitive next year.
“This year it’s just about comradery and getting to know what each other is capable of,” said Statterford.
Satterford has played soccer throughout his life, and hopes to keep youth involved in the sport by creating an ongoing soccer program at the school.
“I love the game. It’s the best sport in the world. Team sports teach kids life skills, like following directions, learning systems, how to work as a team,” said Statterford.
“I truly believe kids who have played a team sport in their life, make for better employees because they are accustomed to having to get along and cooperate as a group.”
Statterford said by coaching the younger girls he can hopefully carry them through to play for the women’s team.
“Maybe we will even be able to get a boys team going in the fall,” said Statterford. “And having youth playing soccer will help support the adult programs as well, because once they graduate they can come play for one of the adult teams.”
His goal is to keep the team going next year, stabilize a soccer program at the school, and get as many players involved as possible.
“This year is a bit of an experiment, but we are going to do a real push next year to keep this going and hopefully become more competitive,” he said.