Kwalikum Secondary unveils soccer program
In a classic case of thinking outside the box, Kwalikum Secondary School has officially launched its new KSS Centre for Soccer Excellence.
“It’s really about taking our soccer program to the next level,” KSS athletic director and longtime soccer coach Butch Gayton explained.
An important shift for a school that was on the ropes not that long ago, but totally in keeping with the faculty’s commitment to the future of KSS.
“We actually have a lot of special programming here at KSS,” he said, pointing to programs already in place such as Metal Mechanical Co-op, Sustainability Program and Biology Co-op, along with district programs such as Explorations in Entrepreneurship; Community and Outdoor Leadership, and the Qualicum Music Academy.
“We’re developing new things to keep the kids interested in school,” said Gayton, adding “we as teachers thought we have to diversify ourselves so we can attract more students to the area. We want to keep all the kids in school, and the best way to do that is offer them something that they’re really involved in.”
KSS becomes the fifth Island high school to offer a soccer specific program.
The KSS Centre for Soccer Excellence is open to students in grades 9-12 (male and female) “and will foster growth in all areas of their soccer future.”
The course will run year-long and include three days a week (about four hours in total) of on-field training with former national and Toronto FC coach Shel Brodsgaard.
The student/athletes will also partake in weights, fitness, nutrition, video production, scholarship prep, sport psychology, coaching, and officials levels.
In the video production course for instance Gayton explains the students will make a highlight package of their play on the pitch which they can send off to any universities or colleges they’re interested in.
Gayton says the idea first surfaced last summer and didn’t take that long to pull together.
“Once we got board approval we went into high gear, and it will continue to evolve as we clear each hurdle.”
The program he said has been met with lots of support from the teaching staff.
And while the soccer school is geared to KSS students, it is a district program, which means students from BSS that are interested, can sign on and be part of the program without having to transfer schools. And with the ongoing uncertainty of youth soccer in the area these days, “this certainly gives them another option.”
The new soccer program is also already attracting interest from outlying areas he said, pointing out he’s had calls from families in Courtenay and Port Alberni “that have intimated they would move (to Oceanside) to be part of this program.”
A MEETING for all interested parents and players will be held this Thursday (March 14) at KSS in the multi purpose room at 7 p.m. For more information on the KSS Centre for Soccer Excellence call Butch at 250.752.5651 ext 160.