With a 10 to 15 per cent reduction in enrollment in each of the last two years, the Kelowna Minor Football Association is on the hunt for new players for the 2012 season.
Play begins in the junior bantam (12-13), peewee (10-11) and atom divisions (8-9) with tournaments during the second and third weekends of August, followed by league play which runs from November.
Games in Kelowna are played at the Mission sports fields.
KMFA president Chuck Liebrock said participation has slipped at all age groups since the end of 2009, with the most crucial need for players coming at the entry level: the atom division.
Liebrock points to a number of factors which may have contributed to the drop-off, including injury concerns, the economy, and so many choices of activities for young athletes.
While expense may be a deterrent for some parents, Liebrock said the KMFA absorbs most of the cost by supplying all of the equipment, except for shoes and mouth guards.
“It’s all top-rated equipment,” said Liebrock. “We’ve also ended up getting the safest and absolute best helmet out there, so the kids are well protected. All those things are taken care of.”
In addition, Leibrock said the environment created by the KMFA program is designed to benefit young players in more ways than simply carrying a football or making a tackle.
“We have good facilities, it’s a good league with good coaches, and there are residual things more important than just playing the game,” said Liebrock, a former CFL. “It’s not win at all costs. You make friends, enjoy being with your teammates, and being part of a group. There can be so much satisfaction from taking part in athletics. Football provides an avenue for that.”
For parents and families who have financial limitations, Liebrock points to the Jumpstart and KidSport programs as a means of covering costs.
“A player is never prohibited from playing in (KMFA) because of money issues,” he said.
Registration for the 2012 season is available by visiting www.kmfa.ca.
For any other information, emails may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org