There are more places to play soccer than ever in Nanaimo, and one little association is doing its part to get kids in the game.
The Central Island Youth Soccer Academy is starting its second season in the area.
The development program serves kids at the U10-U15 levels, offering six or more hours a week of training and games.
Nick Brandstaetter, a CIYSA director, said the academy welcomes any players but caters to the kids who are “passionate and dedicated” to the game.
“The idea is to bring in players that want to go to that next level,” said Andy Pomeroy, coach of the academy. “You’re committing to six hours a week, right?”
The CIYSA is non-profit and positions itself as a more affordable soccer option. Cost for 30 weeks is $260, and $130 for any additional siblings.
The academy is expecting to receive associate status with B.C. Soccer, which would expand the opportunities for tournaments and games. For now, CIYSA players in Nanaimo get games with academy teams from Campbell River, Mill Bay and Victoria.
“The good thing about being a private academy is you’re not really stuck on B.C. Soccer’s age limits, you can have a U13 that maybe is not playing very well and you put him in the U11 just to build that confidence,” Brandstaetter said. “Or a kid that’s really excelling in U11, you can push him up and challenge him.”
CIYSA offers a free trial session to anyone interested. The academy is also looking to hear from parents of U6-U9 players as it is considering expansion to those age groups.
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