Soccer makes a return in Smithers

Bulkley Valley Youth Soccer starting up practises again

Chandler Park field is seeing life again after soccer returned to Smithers.

The Bulkley Valley Soccer Society (BVSS) has been offering two one-hour practices a week for U10 Second year and older since June 15.

BVSS Admin Georgia Mack said they decided to only offer their alternative summer program to older players because it would be easier for them to follow COVID-19 precautions than the younger kids.

“Because the season was going to be drill-focused, keeping interest and focus and adhering to safety protocols, it was going to be challenging for the younger divisions,” she said.

Players get asked health check questions, their hands are sanitized and they are checked in before entering the field. The equipment is also sanitized after use and social distancing rules are in place.

The society has hired a technical director, Dan Imhof to run the program.

“He basically has been running the programs because our concern was for the coaches and coming up with different drills and game plans that could adhere to social distancing,” Mack added. “So Dan Imhof, who is an inspiration to our community, agreed to plan our sessions. He has set it up to have four or five stations. Basically each station focuses on agility training, shooting or technical ball skills. And then coaches run the stations.”

BVSS board director Andrea Lamoureux added that the program has been running smoothly.

“Dan Imhof is really the driving force for us to do this,” she noted. “I don’t think any other individual person could have managed this.”

Dan Imhof also ran Zoom soccer practice sessions and an online soccer trivia night this spring to keep the players engaged.

BVSS is committed to going to the end of July with their alternative program but is open to keep going until the end of August if there is interest from the players and coaches.

“Everyone is having fun and the kids are so happy to be back on the field,” added Mack.

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