Anticipation is high for the upcoming soccer season. A steady stream of parents turned out Saturday to register their children for the year ahead as part of the Bartow Soccer Club. The registration will continue through the end of the month with nearly 500 children expected to take part in this year’s activity.
Registration has moved to the Game Room of the Bartow Civic Center. Typically held at Mary Holland Park, home to many of the team games, this year’s registration will be in the air-conditioned comfort instead of the humidity of the day. The next registration session is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24. There will be mid-week registrations 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27 and Thursday, Aug. 29. Parents must bring the child’s birth certificate to the registration in order to complete the task. The registration fee will also be collected at that time. The season starts in early September for some of the divisions with everyone in play by Sept. 21.
Volunteers are supervising a half dozen stations as parents work through the process that takes just a few minutes. Representatives of Play It Again Sports are also on hand at registration to offer player packages at a reasonable price. The packages provide the proper ball for the age group, a pair of shin guards and shoes to outfit the player for the year ahead.
The Bartow Soccer Club is part of the Florida Youth Soccer Association and offers teams for boys and girls from age 4 through 18. There is also a program called “Lil Sting” for 3-year-olds that features a shorter, eight-week season, smaller fields and more to serve as an introduction to the fun side of soccer.
The organization within the Bartow Soccer Club allows for athletes to compete at their comfort level. There are competitive teams that travel to play others at a higher level of skill, but there is also the recreation level teams that allow players to compete without some of the strenuous side of the game. On recreation teams, everyone plays at least 50 percent of each game and teams are devised to allow for a roster size that permits ample playing time.
Practice schedules are set by the volunteer coaches based on field availability and personnel. Coaches are required to complete a city-backed course and pass a background check. The organization is very committed to providing quality coaches at all levels of play and encourages those who wish to coach or volunteer in any capacity to contact the Bartow Soccer Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The $80 registration fee is reduced by $5 for every additional child in the family who participates. The fee for Lil Sting is $45. The organization uses these registration fees to provide amenities such as jerseys and awards. Fundraising activities are held to provide for operational expenses. Several levels of sponsorship are offered for area businesses. A $75 field sponsorship gets signage displayed at all games. Increased sponsorship can add a large banner on the fence during fall games with the top package stepping up exposure to include spring games and player sponsorship. Potential sponsors can call 863-440-2256 for additional details. The Bartow Soccer Club is committed in its support of community businesses, keeping all activities in Bartow whenever possible and utilizing the services of local businesses.
Additional programs, including the potential adult league for players over 30 who are looking to enjoy the sport without cutthroat competition, could be announced at a later date. The group is continuing a long-standing tradition of getting families involved in a sport that allows team-work, sportsmanship and exercise while teaching lifelong skills and assets.
More information about the Bartow Soccer Club, registrations and upcoming activity can be found at www.bartowsoccer1.com.