Will Jones (L) and Dean Price have been playing six-a-side soccer since it was formed in 1991 here in the Oceanside area. The annual soccer tournament is set to start on July 6. — Michael Briones photo

Six-a-side coed soccer wants more young players to join

Registration for RDN’s popular summer drop-in league is now open

The Six-A-Side Coed Soccer season is set to kick off next month.

Those wishing to come out and join the 8-week league that will start July 6 at the Kwalikum Secondary soccer field can register now at Oceanside Place or at Ravensong Aquatic Centre.

This Regional District of Nanaimo summer event has been a popular drop-in league for nearly two decades.

“We started it in 1999, around 18 years ago,” said Rod Morrison, who has been organizing this league since its inception. “It’s a fun event that is open to all levels and we always have a good turnout.”

Morrison said this summer they are hoping to attract younger players to join. It costs $27.

“We want young players to come out and enjoy playing with those who are not so very young but love the game,” said Morrison.

One of the dedicated supporters of this league is Dean Price. He has been playing six-a-side since day one. He also plays in the men’s league with the Shady Rest team.

“I’ve enjoyed it because I just love the game,” said Price, who originated from England and is a staunch Manchester United fan. “I met a lot of good people playing the game and it’s fun. It’s a good mixed league.”

Price said six-a-side is a good way of building the confidence of up-and-coming young players. He has noticed that Oceanside does not have an under-35 men’s soccer team.

“Five or six years ago, there was a men’s team but it folded because there were not enough players,” said Price. “We want to see more young players come out and maybe inspire them to start an under-35 men’s team. Six-a-side is a good way of improving their skills and to see what they can do.”

Price encourages people of all ages to participate.

“You don’t have to be a professional to play,” said Price. “It’s all about fun and not worrying about being skilled. Rod balances the teams pretty good. I want to tell people not to be afraid to come out and try it out. That’s because everybody is willing to teach and help out.”

Will Jones has been assisting Morrison in organizing the summer league. He started playing six-a-side six years ago and is hooked on the game.

“It’s just a different style of a game,” said Jones. “I just can’t get enough of the sport.”