Youth soccer returns to county thanks to Tabor women's team
Marion County had a problem, and Ian Thompson had the know-how — and a roster full of women with free time in the spring — to fix it.
The Tabor women’s soccer team, through the Hillsboro Recreation Commission, will bring youth soccer back to Marion County in the form of a six-week academy-style program that will begin in late March and last into early May.
Thanks to a chance conversation at a church volunteering event, Thompson spoke with Hillsboro Recreation Commission Director Doug Sisk, who expressed the desire for help in putting on a soccer program.
“I was hearing whispers, how the area used to have soccer, and it was run by one lady who couldn’t do it anymore,” Thompson said. “I figured I’ve got 16-plus girls that are free this time of year. So we created the Tabor College Soccer Academy.”
The academy is open to footballers from anywhere, though all the activity will take place in Hillsboro. The program is open to first grade and above, though Thompson said participation wanes as kids grow older, with eighth grade usually being the top age group.
The academy-style will place an emphasis on teaching the game, rather than league competition. Thompson said he and the girls will devise new teams each week, rather than have the same teams for the duration of the program.
“That way you don’t have a situation where, say there’s four really good kids, and three of them end up on the same team,” he said. “We’ll have new winners each week, and the teams will always be competitive.”
Thompson said the academy is likely to meet twice a week, pending participation. Sisk estimated between 30 and 40 kids already have signed up for the program.
“I’ve been actively looking for a way to get a soccer program going,” Sisk said. “I know it’s a program that in the United States has grown immensely, so we’re excited about being able to offer it.”
Sisk said he couldn’t have orchestrated a program himself because of his busy schedule, but Thompson’s availability and the resource of the Tabor team made it possible.
Thompson said his players are excited to take on the task.
“Some are more excited than others, we’ve got a couple elementary education majors that are really excited,” Thompson said.
For the program, multiple grades will be grouped together in establishing teams, Thompson and his players will coach the teams and referee the games.
To register, go to www.cityofhillsboro.net/hrc to access the recreation commission website. The registration fee is $35. Additionally, interested parties can contact Thompson at email@example.com or at (620) 249-4027.
Last modified March 12, 2015