Sports | DrumhellerMail - Page #23
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Last updateTue, 21 May 2024 12am

Soccer numbers continue to climb

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Soccer season up and going and so far it looks like a strong year.
The sport seems to be making a resurgence.
“I was quite surprised after everything that was going on in the last couple of years, we have continued to grow every year,” said president Scott Duggan.
He says this year there are between 130-150 youngsters participating from beginners to teenagers.
“This year we are a little different. Our large group is younger this year. The youngest is two,” said Duggan.
He says they have a strong U5 grassroots program as well as a good crop of U7 players, and very good numbers at the U9 and U11 age groups.
While they have a strong crowd of young players starting the game and learning the sport, it was harder to have competitive teams, due

to changes with Alberta Soccer.
“What happened this year is Alberta Soccer decided to finally roll out its Standards for Quality of Soccer. What that means is there are a lot more rules and regulations,” explained Duggan. “Unfortunately it is really geared more towards urban centres. Those guys had no problem getting sanctioned because you can pull from a very large population base. What it is doing is really hindering rural soccer.”
This means that all coaches have to be certified. If it is a mixed team they have to have both male and female certified coaches.
“Now what is required is all of my coaches must be completely certified, and there are a lot of courses we have to take. This is no big deal and we pay for them, but the problem is how do you get parent volunteers to continue coaching for more than one season,” said Duggan.
He said the local district rolled out the new program in February, and they needed to have it completed by May. Because of this, they are not sanctioned.
He said the higher age bracket numbers may have dropped out because of the association’s inability to provide a higher level of competition.
Duggan said they are committed to achieving this level of Standards for Quality of Soccer in the coming season.
“We are working towards it, and this year we have a lot of help from people wanting to coach so I hope that they stick around,” said Duggan.


Titans coach selected for Alberta Senior Bowl

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It’s tryout camp season for young football players in the province and Drumheller Titans’ coach Ken Fournier will be at the helm.
Selection Camp season began with four camps to select players for the Team Alberta U18 Boys and Team Alberta U18 Girls teams, national finalists and national champions respectively from 2022, along with the Senior Bowl South and U16 Boys Alberta Summer Games selections as well.
Fournier has been selected as coach for the Senior Bowl. This is to coach the south team.
“This is my fifth time doing senior bowl. This is my second time as head coach. The last time was in the spring of 2014,” he said.
Fournier has demonstrated his coaching prowess with the success of the Drumheller program, including this season, taking the team to victory in the Tier IV provincial final.
“This year they are doing it a bit differently, the head coach gets to select their coaching staff, so I have reached out to teams that won their league championships, or are representing in provincials, and tried to spread it out around the southern parts of the province,” he said.
He says it is interesting coaching players who have come up on different teams playing different systems.
“Putting together a staff and everybody is good and has their own way of doing things. Right out of the gate you have players from a bunch of different teams so you keep it pretty simple, make sure everyone’s comfortable and get everyone on the same page,” said Fournier. “As far as this selection camp goes, it is really awesome to see talent in Southern Alberta represented from the big cities all the way to the rural areas.”
The Selection Camp attracts about 200 kids and was held at the Encana Dome at Shouldice Park in Calgary.
The Senior Bowl will take place at MEGlobal Stadium in Lacombe on Monday, May 22 at 12:00 p.m.

Women take on badlands triathlon

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More than 50 women from throughout Alberta took on the badlands in the first Wild Rose Women’s Triathlon in Drumheller on Sunday, May 14. Events offered included a sprint triathlon, a team sprint (you either swim, bike or run), and Try-A-Tri distance, using the Drumheller Aquaplex and the scenic river valley and badlands. The event was hosted by RnR Premier Events, and a few locals took on the distance in a spirit of accomplishment and camaraderie.


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