For years, Sun Peaks families who wanted to take part in professional soccer coaching have had to travel to Kamloops. Now, youth are getting a chance to train with qualified soccer coaches every week without having to leave the village.
Dave Spendlove has spent decades of his life working with youth to help hone their soccer skills. Now, he’s brought professional coaches to Sun Peaks so local kids can learn the ins and outs of the game.
“Programs are running in Kamloops and we were starting to get quite a few kids from Sun Peaks coming into it. So one of the parents suggested that we try and run a program up here. So that’s what we’re doing, this is our first wave.”
Spendlove started Soccer Quest 25 years ago after playing soccer professionally in Ontario. Now, Soccer Quest trains youth from four years old up to 18, and offers games, camps, scholarships and consistent training.
Spendlove said about 70 school-aged children have registered for the Sun Peaks program, which will take place every Friday at the soccer fields behind the Sun Peaks Centre. The training program will run for eight weeks, and Spendlove said he hopes to run a camp for kids once school lets out, if COVID-19 restrictions allow.
“We’ll take some enrollments right now. We are going to hopefully run the program right through the summer and then we’ll do a summer camp for the kids as well,” he said.
The coaches have gone through Soccer Quests coaching apprenticeship, and have five to seven years of coaching experience under their belts. Spendlove said different coaches will be coming up to the village to teach kids new skills and approaches, which is what they will be working on until they are able to play games once again.
Spendlove says kids who take part in Soccer Quest can move up depending on their skill level, with a potential for scholarships. He said he looks forward to running the program in Sun Peaks where the kids tend to be already athletically inclined.
“They’ve all got good balance, especially up here I think because of the skiing and mountain biking,” Spendlove said. “They’re great kids, they’re all athletes… it’s an athletic community, that’s the beauty of it. It’s worked out really well.”
Spendlove said there are still spots open for the summer training program. If you want to register or know more about Soccer Quest, visit their website by clicking here.