Two local teenagers are headed to the B.C. Summer Games with the Kootenay Region soccer team.
Sara Lewis, 14, and Kasha Bell, 15, were both named to the team in early June after a series of tryouts. The team is comprised of the best players across the Kootenay region, including Nelson, Cranbrook, Rossland and Fernie.
“There is a series of tryouts. Last September there were actually practices with the coach. Starting in the beginning of April, the very first tryouts began. If you make it through the tryouts you go to four practices, which are over a couple of weekends,” explained Bell. “The final tryout was in Nelson but we have had practices in Castlegar, Nelson and Cranbrook.”
Bell and Lewis are the only two players from Fernie and therefore travel extensively for practices with the rest of the team. Their dedication has been noticed. At the last practice in Nelson, Bell was named as captain of the Kootenay team.
Lewis and Bell have been playing soccer for nearly a decade and both play on a rep team in Cranbook, which they have been playing with for three years. Because the team is a collection of players from across the region, they are now teammates with people they have been competing against for years.
“It’s really fun playing with them because they are all such good players so when you put them all together, it’s a really fun experience,” said Bell.
The girls are flying to Abbotsford to participate in the B.C. Summer Games, which begins on July 21. They will play a minimum of four games with the potential for more, depending on how the series progresses. Bell and Lewis are unsure of what to expect, as they have never faced these regional teams before.
“There are seven different zones that we have to play against. I really don’t know what to expect,” said Bell.
Regardless of the outcome, Lewis and Bell are excited for the experience and hope to continue playing soccer at a highly competitive level in the future.