In an effort to ensure kids get value for money after such a long period of Covid restrictions, Richmond FC extended the spring soccer season well into July this year, giving kids from U4’s to U18’s several weeks more of training than they’d been promised, and providing a plethora of friendly games while every other club had more or less abandoned the season.

The Cascadia League, which usually plays out in the spring, was unfortunately a bust with most teams unable to raise a squad when Covid restrictions were reduced. Rather than call off the season, or play only a handful of games in faraway locations, RFC TD David Thorburn took the schedule into his own hands and filled the fields with inter-squad friendlies.

By combining age groups, genders, and ability levels in a friendly setting, grassroots and younger kids got to experience what it’s like to play at a higher level, while older kids learned how to mentor younger kids and bring them into the game. The gender divide was crossed by having boys and girls turn out together, which saw the boys not only team up with girls for the first time since U8’s, but also socialize with them, developing a stronger soccer community. Kids played under new coaches, learned new moves and strategies, got smoked by older kids with fancy footwork, and gave their all while most of BC’s youth soccer community was home playing FIFA.

While the kids were sometimes playing in temperatures not usually experienced in metro Vancouver soccer circles, RFC teamed up with Steveston Pure Water to set up hydration stations around Hugh Boyd Field which were extensively used and kept everyone safe.

All in all, a well organized departure from the usual, and the result was legions of young kids getting their well deserved medals this weekend.

The board of RFC would like to thank all the parents who turned out on medal day and through the season, in sometimes trying circumstances, as well as the coaches, some of whom appeared to be enjoying medal day as much as the kids!

But mostly, thanks to the players who, at every age range and across all experience levels, showed the adults the best of Richmond through their teamwork, patience, determination, inclusivity, and skills through the spring.

Our summer camps are packed but still taking registrations, our fall/winter programs are filling fast, and we’ve got big news to announce later this week that will make the coming fall one to remember.

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