Vancouver Whitecaps kick their way into spring

The Vancouver Whitecaps professional soccer team is heading back to Fernie to host their Spring Skills Academy.

After taking the Kootenays by storm last fall with their successful fall soccer program, the Vancouver Whitecaps professional soccer team is heading back to Fernie to host their Spring Skills Academy.

Provided to children between the ages of nine and 18, the skills program will give youth an opportunity to be taught the game by professional coaches every Saturday for 10 weeks.

“To be able to get a professional club to come to a small community of 5,000 just shows the [effort put in] by all these volunteers,” Whitecaps Kootenay Regional Head Coach Brett Adams said. “We’re really proud to be a part of that.”

The Whitecaps first made their way to Fernie in 2013, providing Fernie Academy students with a soccer program that ran throughout the year.

Adams said he hopes the success of that program will transfer to the Spring Skills Academy.

“It just shows you the strength that’s going up and it speaks in volumes to the people that are trying to promote soccer within the area,” said Adams.

The Whitecaps, in association with Fernie Youth Soccer, will be hosting the Spring Skills Academy at the Max Turyk Community Centre field from April 11 to June 27.

Adams said the Whitecaps are encouraging children of all skill levels to come out to Max Turyk to play soccer.

“Any player out there that wants to be taught by a professional club and to get some experience over the spring season is more than welcome to come and sign up for our programs,” he added. “At the end of it they’ll have nothing but good experiences.”

Adams noted that over the last 10 years, the game has been growing steadily in the valley.

“Part of our mantra is to grow the game as big as we can,” said Adams. “We’re opening it up to anyone in and around the area.”