By Stacy Case
Recreational soccer in this community has stayed true to form for several decades. It still proves to be a staple in youth sports that consistently attracts a few thousand area youngsters every year from late Fall into the early part of the Spring.
And city programs from both Parkland and Coral Springs have done their due diligence in offering perfectly manicured fields (Pine Trails along with Mullins and North Community Park, respectively) for all of these years, commingled with countless Board Members, volunteer coaches and team parents.
Both of these well-oiled machines host those as young as Under 5 up to Under 18, both gender-specific as well as co-ed divisions, despite what their soccer resumes may include.
“Everyone gets placed on a team and gets to play, regardless of experience and/or skill set,” says Doug Cole, who has been the president for Parkland Soccer for more than a decade, and is accompanied by about two dozen other Board Members. Doug continues…”The mission of Parkland Soccer is to foster the self-esteem, physical fitness, respect and achievement, provide inclusive involvement of members by demonstrating a caring organization-one that is modeled around sportsmanship, fair play, and participant safety and positive enthusiasm.”
Across the city limits in Coral Springs, Steve Cimaglia’s recreational program seems to mirror the similar concepts as those set forth by the Parkland program.
As Coral Springs Youth Soccer (CSYS) is governed by about 30 volunteer Board Members, Steve credits his league’s offerings as “providing a fun and safe environment for the development of youth soccer players in our community.”
And, while Steve is in the tail end of his second year as CSYS’s president, his approximately 2,000 players are able to take to the fields due to the efforts of such dedicated volunteers and a well-run city program.
In fact, due to the less-lengthy-than-other sports programs, Steve compliments the CSYS league for continuing to give area youths the chance to participate in one of the oldest sports organizations in the city.
“It’s a short, fun-filled season, and gives kids and families the opportunity to get involved in other activities for the remainder of the year,” adds Steve.
He concludes… “learning the game of soccer, making new friends, and having fun is what we’re all about.”
And to cement Doug’s positive outlook on the mainstay creed of his Parkland program, he says he has “a great, all-volunteer staff that continues to do an outstanding job for the greater good of all the participants; a shout out as well to all the coaches who commit and volunteer their time to promote sportsmanship and teach the game.”
Doug also attributes the league’s longevity to the successful foundation that was built by Pete and Linda Gado, who have both since passed away, and their early dedication to Parkland Soccer.