Elks kick soccer indoors

Sarah Ladik/NNSL photo Chandelle Leonard, left, goes in for the tackle while Ryan Browning takes the ball up the field at a scrimmage last Thursday night.

Sarah Ladik/NNSL photo
Chandelle Leonard, left, goes in for the tackle while Ryan Browning takes the ball up the field at a scrimmage last Thursday night.

There is snow on the ground, but with Elks’ Soccer heading indoors, children don’t have to put up their shinpads for the season.

“I’m hoping to see year-round development with these guys,” coach Daniel DaRosa told The Hub during last week’s scrimmage at the Princess Alexandra Middle School gym Thursday night. “The best thing has been seeing them improve and do well in games and tournaments.”

DaRosa, himself having played soccer under the Team NWT banner at the Arctic Winter Games team in Fairbanks, Alaska, has been coaching soccer in the community over the summer season. He said he wanted to keep helping out as much as he could.

“These kids love soccer and it’s great to see them so interested, enough to move inside and keep playing.”

There are several age categories for both boys and girls, with weekly practices alternating with games on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A relatively quiet night, about 20 children turned out for the 10-11-12-year-old scrimmage last Thursday.

“The kids are doing so many sports,” said coach Kim Ivanko, adding that many of the players present on Thursday were also involved in hockey, speedskating, gymnastics, bowling, curling and more.

“There’s a large audience being reached here with soccer, for a wide age-range for both boys and girls.”

Ivanko credits the success of Elks’ Soccer this year with dedicated coaches and organizers. She said the expansion of the program and its extension into a new season wouldn’t be possible without parent involvement at all levels.

“People have really been stepping up, and there’s enough interest in the community to sustain it,” she said.

The hope is that this will make the youth more competitive.

“Part of this was that the kids were coming back from tournaments and saying we need to practise year round,” said Ivanko. “They loved it, and they had so much fun, they wanted to get better.”

Declan Munro played soccer all summer and said he’s glad to have the opportunity to play through the winter.

“It keeps us in shape,” he said. “I just think it’s fun we get to run a lot. And it’s fun to hang out with friends.”

-Sarah Ladik