Fourteen-year-old trying to launch new soccer tournament


Paul Bickford/NNSL photo Daniel DaRosa, a 14-year-old student at Diamond Jenness Secondary School, is trying to organize a three-on-three soccer tournament.

Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
Daniel DaRosa, a 14-year-old student at Diamond Jenness Secondary School, is trying to organize a three-on-three soccer tournament.

Daniel DaRosa is just 14 years old, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking on a task that most adults would find daunting.

DaRosa has launched an effort to organize a new indoor soccer tournament.

“I’ve never really organized anything,” said the Grade 9 student at Diamond Jenness Secondary School.

Despite that, he is the driving force behind an initiative to create a three-on-three tournament. Three-on-three soccer features three players, a goalie and two substitutes per team.

“It’s a lot more fast-paced than regular soccer. It’s a lot of fun,” said DaRosa, who played in a three-on-three tournament in Ontario. “It’s more high-scoring. Instead of two or three goals a game, you’re getting up to six and 10 goals. It’s quite competitive.”

The young organizer envisions such a tournament as good preparation for the upcoming Arctic Winter Games, which take place early next year in Fairbanks, Alaska.

“I’m hoping for November because that will be good preparation for Arctic Winter Games tryouts, but if it doesn’t happen then I’ll just set it for a later date,” he said. “But I am confident that we can get a tournament done this year.”

His vision is that the tournament would not only be for players from Hay River, but also Fort Smith, Fort Resolution and Yellowknife.

DaRosa, who has been working on the idea since September, has already enlisted the help of several people, including a teacher in Fort Smith and a soccer organizer in Hay River.

“I probably would have done a lot of it by myself, but I’ve needed other people for the organizing, and they have a little bit more influence in town,” DaRosa said. “I mean a kid trying to get all this done. So it’s a lot of help from them.”

Another person helping is Steve Beck.

“Any time a young person wants to take the initiative and become a leader in the community like that, it’s something that we want to support, for sure,” he said.

The RCMP special constable said DaRosa is a “sharp” young man.

“He wants to do good things for the people,” Beck said. “It’s like any passion. When you love something, you want to pass it on to as many people as you can. And I think that’s what he’s hoping to do here.”

Beck said he and the other adults will support DaRosa as much as possible.

“As a 14-year-old, he’s going to have a hard time trying to gain credibility as far as people don’t take him seriously at that age,” Beck said. “I hope to bring that for him so that we can help out with the organization part of it.”

Beck is hopeful the tournament will happen, and might even turn into a league as an alternative to hockey.

DaRosa said there are many things still to arrange, including obtaining the use of school gyms and signing up players.

“I’m confident that we will get the numbers,” he said, adding the tournament will probably be for ages seven to 17.

Plus, he is also hopeful it could turn into an annual event.

DaRosa said he is not really getting any help from his friends in trying to organize the soccer tournament, noting, “They think I’m a little bit crazy for trying to do something like this.”

— Paul Bickford