Soccer the first pick for young athletes

Minor sports are the bedrock of the Tournament Capital athletics scene.

Thousands of children enrol each year in sports, including track and field, judo, baseball, hockey, soccer, gymnastics, baseball, swimming and more.

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Leading the way in registration numbers are the Kamloops Youth Soccer Association, Kamloops Minor Hockey Association, Kamloops Gymnastics and Trampoline Centre and Kamloops Minor Baseball Association.

The KYSA reported about 3,000 registrations last season, while the KMHA had about 1,300, the KGTC had more than 1,000 and KMBA attracted about 700 in 2018, up from 628 in 2017 and 560 in 2016.

Last year, the KMBA established its first all-girls baseball team, the Pink Panthers.

The Kamloops Minor Fastball Association had more than 100 registrants ages five to 19 in 2018, most of them girls.

Organizations such as the Kamloops Gymnastics and Trampoline Centre, Kamloops Classic Swimming club, Kamloops Community Football and Kamloops Track and Field Club benefit from use of the Tournament Capital Centre, Canada Games Aquatic Centre and Hillside Stadium, venues that are expected to undergo renovation in the coming years.

More than 460 athletes enrolled in KGTC programming this season — 213 in trampoline and 250 in artistic gymnastics.

The KMHA and other hockey groups are in need of more space, especially with the shuttering of the private Ice Box Arena, but enjoy nice facilities such as Sandman Centre and McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre.

Youth tennis players are excelling at the Kamloops Tennis Centre, which will this summer host its first ITF World Tennis Tour Junior Circuit event.

The Cliffside Climbing Gym recently sent athletes to youth national in Montreal earlier this year.

Soccer and baseball fields in Kamloops are among the best minor-sports fields in the world.

Kamloops was recognized internationally in November as the first Canadian municipality to win the Field of the Year Award from Sports Turf Managers Association for management of Norbrock Stadium.

© Kamloops This Week


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