Over 1,400 children of all ages and skill levels are making Pine Trails Park their home away from home for the next few months. Nearly every evening from now through February, the parks are filled with the sights and sounds of Parkland’s largest sports program, Parkland Recreational Soccer. Not only is soccer a wonderful winter activity in South Florida, but Parkland Soccer Club has a mission that goes beyond simple exercise and fresh air. The Club provides “inclusive involvement of members by demonstrating a caring organization; one that is modeled around sportsmanship, fair play and participant safety; an organization that builds effective citizenship in members through trust, active communication and enthusiasm,” according to Doug Cole, Parkland Soccer Club president.
Soccer is also a uniting force for our local community. The Parkland Soccer Club was deeply affected by the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas, and last spring the club held a moment of silence prior to the games and distributed “Parkland Strong” bracelets to all players. This season the club has chosen to honor the victims by placing the words “MSD Strong” on the back of every player’s jersey.
The players and parents truly love recreational soccer season. It is a time to come together as a community and watch children play a sport with friends and classmates. Parents are sure to run into neighbors and friends as they come and go from games. “I like playing soccer because it’s my favorite and I like seeing my friends,” said 5 year old rec player Micah. “Parkland soccer has been great for my children to make new friends and learn about sportsmanship. Saturday soccer day is a fun day at the park,” said soccer parent Alison Stone. “Not only has it been great for the kids to get exercise and learn about team play, but it has been great for the parents to meet some of our best friends in the community,” added parent Marlith Kanashiro.
Players and families will close out the season on February 23, 2019 with an end-of-season picnic. Players will bring home trophies from their season along with new skills, friendships and memories of another unforgettable soccer season in South Florida.