The Strathmore Soccer Association hosted their second annual Practise with the Pros, July 10, at the Strathmore Motor Products Sports Centre in partnership with Calgary’s Cavalry Football Club.
“The event is called Practise with the Pros, and it is part of our Cavalry Club program, which is a partnership with the local professional team, based out of Spruce Meadows in Calgary,” said Ryan Parkins, technical director for the Strathmore Soccer Association. “It is a really exciting night for the kids because three members from the Calgary Cavalry team are out here to help train and work with the youth so they can be inspired by, and aspire to play with or like them.”
The Calgary Cavalry FC announced in 2022 they were launching a club program to connect with local level soccer clubs in the greater Calgary region.
Parkins explained the Strathmore Soccer Association was the first to engage with Calgary Cavalry to participate in the program.
“The goal of these sessions from our side is to get (kids) exposed to the greater soccer community and also to imbue the message of community on our kids whereby they’re here with all of their peers. We have as young as eight or nine years old, all the way up to 19-year-old players all wearing the same colours, all part of the same collective group where they can lean on each other for support,” he said. “This (is) very fun-focused, but they’ll get a chance to work on some small-sided individual skills where players will be able to give them tips and tricks based on what intrigues them about this sport.”
Parkins was excited to report attendance of the program had increased over last year’s event. This is also in part due to the Strathmore Soccer Association increasing in membership.
The idea going forward is to maintain the training camp as an annual event with the Calgary Cavalry FC. Participants at the training camp will also be invited to be ball kids on the field of a Cavalry game, doing walk-ons, playing a mini-game on a professional pitch, and retrieving balls throughout the professional match.
“If kids are interested in this program, we have events that take place over the entire schedule of the Cavalry season and our indoor registration will be opening around August 1, so they can look to get involved as soon as the indoor season kicks off,” said Parkins.
More information about the Strathmore Soccer association, as well as the partnership with the Calgary Cavalry FC is available online, via the organizations’ websites and Facebook pages.
By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Jul 22, 2023