Six-a-side football is staying.
Penticton Minor Football Association was happy with how the program went in its first year.
“The players had more time to learn the game and more one-on-one instruction,” wrote secretary/registrar Lorraine Sopow in an email. “For the most part, each player said they will play again next year.”
Coach Ron Huston said it finished well and liked the players progression.
“Their play was markedly improved,” he said. “Their tackling, blocking, everything. Too bad it ended so soon.”
The program wrapped up earlier this month. The only mystery was why every Sunday they could only play four-on-four. PMFA had more kids attend practice.
When asked if there are thoughts of changing when games are held, Sopow said that Sunday is “game day.”
“This was a struggle for us and I cannot explain why that is the case,” she said. “Some was the fall flu/cold season, some holidays. The bonus of all the practice is to put it into effect in a game situation. This is what the fans come out to see.”
Huston enjoyed coaching the group and said they listened. While some were timid at first, that changed.
“Once they figure out they are not going to get too badly hurt with the pads on, they come around,” he said.
Sopow said the association is planning to have either a touch or flag program for the spring, and then a six-a-side in-house program for the fall. Ideally they would like to offer this program to all age groups. Sopow said that will depend on numbers and field and coach availability.
Going forward, PMFA wants to expand six-a-side into both a peewee (nine to 11-years-old), junior bantam (12 to 13) and bantam (14 to 15) program. Should the numbers justify it, they would again look at putting in 12-man teams to play in the Souther Interior Football Conference. The association also needs to recruit more coaches and individuals who will be able to referee on Sunday.
“I know there are lots of guys out there who played the sport growing up and would be a real asset to re-building and having football as being a viable option in Penticton and the South Okanagan,” said Sopow. “We also need individuals who are interested in the administrative aspects of the organization, be it on the board or other.”
PMFA is also looking for sponsorship from local businesses to help meet expenses.
“As the sport grows, which I am confident it will, this sponsorship is vital,” she said. “It would be wonderful to see football as an event in town where if you were out on a Sunday, you would stop by and have a look.”
Lorraine Sopow can be contacted at email@example.com or 250-494-2229 for those interested in getting involved.