More than a thousand teenage soccer players will take over playing fields in Langford and Colwood this weekend for the Lower Island District Cup.
Girls and boys U-13 to U-18 teams representing 10 organizations will vie for glory in one of the largest soccer tournaments on the Island. The pressure is on in a single-knockout format for the championship.
Karen Thompson, with the Lower Island Soccer Association, expects high-calibre games from top teams from across the region and the Cowichan Valley.
“Each game is a final game,” Thompson said. “People are encouraged to come and support the teams and to pray for sunshine.”
Games will run on the three grass fields at West Shore Parks and Recreation and the two artificial turf fields at City Centre Park in Langford.
Juan de Fuca soccer president Dave Johnson said Langford’s addition of the turf fields has made it possible for the West Shore to host these large tournaments.
In the past, JDF soccer simply didn’t have the facilities to host more than a thousand kids and coaches, and hasn’t hosted this final “in many years,” Johnson said. “We are thankful Langford built those all-weather pitches,” he said. “We couldn’t do it without the turf fields. School fields just wouldn’t hold up. It’s what was needed.
“It’s wonderful. We can’t get rained out.”
Staff at West Shore recreation are working hard to get their three grass fields in playing shape for the weekend after coming off a tournament leading to the finals.
“We just had hundreds of kids on those fields, now they’re trying to prep it all and get the grass back.”
For a schedule of games, see www.lowerislandsoccer.com.