These ankle-biters have quested for enjoyment

Questing after fun, and maybe sports stardom

At first glance, “Soccer Quest” might sound like a bit of an overdramatic name.

At first glance, “Soccer Quest” might sound like a bit of an overdramatic name. Are a few kids kicking balls worthy of a word that belongs on the cover of an 80s fantasy novel? After all, put five kids in a room, tell them one of them made fun of another one’s mom, and you get the same result.

A valid point, but the meaning of quest is, as quoted from an online dictionary, “The act or instance of pursuing something; a search.” In other words, to go somewhere.

With any luck, Soccer Quest will help talented kids do exactly that. It may sound far-fetched, but sometimes heroes come from the unlikeliest of places. That also sounds like it belongs just south of a Fabio look-alike’s gleaming pecs, but that’s not the point.

The point, pointy as a point should be, is that if your kid loves soccer, he or she may just have the chance to go on to bigger and better things. Indeed, Soccer Quest has partnered with the Vancouver Whitecaps to help your child reach their potential (or just have fun ).

Programs run the age gamut from four to 18 years old, not counting the programs for adults listed on their website. If and when your kid has gotten miraculously good at a sport usually left to people with funny accents and a fixation for tea, it may be time to move him up to the “High Performance” program. This program proudly features a coach ratio of 12 to one, ostensibly suggesting at least a bit of cloning has taken place.

“All that fruity language and obvious word-count extension is all well and good,” you think, sipping on a cup of extra strong coffee, “but how can anyone local make it to the big leagues?”

Again, hypothetical reader, that may sound unlikely, but it’s happened before. I queried Iain Harvey, a coach for the program, on whether or not any local kids have had success.

“Well, we had four girls who got scholarships, and one guy who ended up in Whitecaps residency,” he told me.

“Impressive,” I said, or would have said. In reality, I said nothing, because I have the social skills of Garth Algar.

That wasn’t his fault, though. Iain was friendly and kind enough to make time for my questions, no mean feat when surrounded by a whole bunch of excited soccer players. The most local of local successes, though, has to be Nakusp’s very own Nathan Hawe. Mr. Harvey mentioned that he had made it onto the Salmon Arm rep program. Disregarding the fact that I have no idea what that means, it sounds impressive.

Even if your child attains success, he or she still has a long way to go. Going pro entails lots of time, effort, practice, and perhaps most dauntingly, money. If they have the skill and the drive, and you have the patience, they could make it a long way.

 

Don’t think I’m discounting playing to have fun, though. That is a cause that is just as noble, if a little less costly. Depending on how you want it, Soccer Quest could be a stepping stone to greatness, or a couple days of fun. In other words, the only time it’s acceptable to let your kids run loose and kick people’s balls.