Letter: It’s ‘shameful’ youth soccer has no sponsors

I was stunned to learn that the Okanagan club has not been able to obtain any local sponsorships…

To the editor:

You have a great soccer club in the Okanagan, although the U-13 and U-14 boys did not win against Mountain FC this past weekend.

These teams play at the highest youth level within the year-old EABC Soccer Premier League that is dedicated to promoting player development at the highest level, engaging professional coaches and arranging league plays among teams based in locations ranging from Vancouver Island to the Okanagan, with most of course coming from the Lower Mainland region.

I was stunned to learn that the Okanagan club has not been able to obtain any local sponsorships from businesses and corporations in the Kelowna/Central Okanagan region, and I am sorry to say that I find this shameful and embarrassing.

Is it not recognized that soccer is the most widely played ball game in Canada and the world; that Canada is slowly moving towards becoming internationally competitive (see top Canadian womens’ team, three teams in the top performing North American MLS, and the new local exemplary Premier League youth development in BC)? I know at least one player (a goalie) from one of the Okanagan teams who joined the provincial team last summer, an honour and distinction for the local regional club.

There is some sponsorship of hockey by local business, and I sure hope that some of the local business leaders will rise to the task and come on line with some support for Okanagan soccer and that at future matches ad banners alongside the Mission playing fields will bear testimony to their sponsorships.

There is special need for this for your local teams because every second league match has to be played in the Vancouver area—and so it becomes costly.

The region should be proud to see that the “beautiful game” is being played at this high level right in the Okanagan and thus deserves support by the communities and its businesses.

Dr. Hans Baer,