Penticton youth football association needs more volunteers in the huddle

Penticton Minor Football Association in need of players and volunteers.

Penticton Minor Football Association is huddling up for another season that could be its last.

Registrar Lorraine Sopow said the association is still working to generate more interest in the community.

With practices starting Sept. 8 at McNicoll Park, their focus is on six- or nine-aside football for kids age nine to 13.

All practices and games will be in Penticton. Players will be taught the basics, including safe tackling, conditioning and rule knowledge.

“This will be the seventh year for football in Penticton, and still we hear that many people are shocked to know that it is available,” said Sopow.

“Hopefully, the fact that we don’t travel at this point in time will be a positive incentive for participation in the program.

“We wish to attract players from Summerland to Oliver and Osoyoos.”

PMFA has endured difficult times due to a lack of commitment, tough economy, busy schedules and other factors that have caused the number of players and volunteers to decline.

The current board is ready to move on to other things, and if the numbers don’t support the program and new volunteers can’t be found, it may be the last season of football in Penticton, Sopow said.

“I recognize that families are busy these days, but what you take away as a volunteer is well worth the time and effort,” said Sopow.

She noted the program has had successes, such as Penticton resident and PMFA product Justin Gabriel, who is now playing for the Kelowna Sun in the B.C. Football Conference.

The PMFA season will run until the end of October, depending on weather and field conditions. Practices are scheduled during the week with scrimmages on Sundays. The cost, which includes equipment, will be $125 regardless of age group. An equipment damage deposit is also required.  Registration forms are available at Call 250-488-0778 or 778-931-0152 for more information.