The number of women playing soccer in the Comox Valley has been declining in recent years.
In an effort to drum up some interest in ‘The Beautiful Game,’ some local players have organized a new recreational women’s league starting April 17.
Natalie Hextall plays for the Shooters in the Mid-Island Women’s Soccer League, which has dropped from eight to five teams in two years.
“Which is a total shame,” said Hextall, who feels there’s a few reasons for the decline in numbers.
For one, Campbell River has a premier team that competes in the Lower Island women’s league.
“Some of the best locals went there,” she said. “We’re also not getting the young players (out of youth soccer).”
Another reason is motherhood.
“When we go out of town, it takes most of your day (Sunday), which is hard when you have young children,” said Linda Wyton, who plays with the Courtenay Kickers in the MIWSL.
When U18 players finish youth soccer, Wyton said they typically leave town to play college or university soccer. Those who remain in the Valley often work weekends. She also notes that some people find it easier to play one night a week with the Comox Valley Sports & Social Club.
The recreational league is geared for players 25 and older. It will run for eight weeks on Tuesday evenings at the Vanier grass fields. Start time is 6:30 p.m.
“We will do more of a drop-in style based on numbers,” Hextall said. “It could be seven-aside, or 11-aside.”
As opposed to competition, the fun league will focus on fitness and meeting new people.
Register by email at email@example.com
Visit the Facebook page: CV Women’s Spring Soccer