By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Taber and District Soccer is currently running a Girls Summer Rep Soccer Program from July 25 to August 17, 2023.
“Our goal as a board is to increase the love of soccer in youth and reach out to as many different groups in Taber, the MD, and surrounding areas that are a part of our district,” Liz Foote, current president of Taber and District Soccer, said. “This program hopefully will increase the love of sports/soccer in some of our younger girls and hopefully we see them play soccer or even other sports in their later years.”
The program, Foote says, starts on July 25, 2023, and will be held at St. Pat’s East Fields from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on each day the program runs. The program will be coached by Stephen Tabin and is open to girls born between 2012 and 2015 and played in the 2023 house league.
“The past president of Taber District and Soccer came to me with this idea after we heard Stephen might want to join the board,” Foote said. “Stephen has two young daughters and has been playing and coaching for years. So, he seemed like the perfect candidate for the role of starting a girls’ program. I of course was pumped when (he) suggested the idea and when we brought it up with Stephen, he seemed just as excited.”
Foote says that as far as an assistant coach goes, Taber District and Soccer is allowing Tabin to search for his own assistant coach, but finding volunteers is hard because the season is during the summer. Thankfully, Foote says, there are some awesome parents who are involved in soccer that volunteer with the group and the board year after year. Soccer or sports programs, Foote says, cannot be run without volunteers, and Taber actually used to have a summer girls’ team and a summer boys’ team, Foote says.
“We played games against surrounding towns, cities and played in tournaments,” Foote said. “I used to play on the girls’ team, and it was really fun. I believe physical activity and mental health go hand in hand. I also believe that being on a team working together with different people can teach you a lot of life lessons. That’s not even going into what losing or winning as a team can teach you. I believe these life lessons play an important part in life.”
As far as enrolment goes, Foote says, the program was already half full after the first 12 hours it was online.
“After all of the information was posted, I personally received a handful of messages and comments saying how excited they were for this program, and wishing it included more age groups,” Foote said. “I personally want to see these girls continue to grow and gain confidence. Too many girls quit and lose that confidence before they even get to really enjoy the sport. There’s also something so good about girls playing with other girls, working as a team.”
For more information about the Girls’ Summer Rep Soccer Program, contact Stephen at (403) 715-7341 and to register, visit tabersoccer.com.
“I think anything that builds our youth up or helps them become better people is good for our communities,” Foote said. “They’re the future of our communities and if we don’t build them up or give them programs to learn and grow, we’re all missing out on so much.”