After months off the field, members of KASA, the Kincardine Adult Soccer Association, are happy to be back playing a sport they love and are looking forward to the winter indoor season.
The co-ed adult soccer league (18+) finished its first full season since COVID was declared, with a tournament on Oct. 21.
KASA, before COVID, had offered an outdoor league in the summer months, and two five on five indoor leagues (one with and one without goalies) through the colder months. When the state of emergency was enacted in March 2020, the league was required to cease all games and the Davidson Centre facility where it played was shuttered.
Sabrina Miller, who handles marketing for the league, said after losing the balance of the indoor league season, the association decided that in the interest of health and safety, it would also forego its summer season as well.
Left with a surplus of funds because of cancelled facility rentals, the association opted to donate the money to charity.
“When we made the decision to cancel the remainder of our indoor 2020 season, we chose to donate the remaining season fees to Huron Shores Hospice, totaling $2000,” said Miller.
As restrictions began to lift, the league decided to reinstate its summer 2021 season, with safety protocols in place. Miller said players were placed in cohorts, maintained distancing while off the field and while vaccinations were not required, the association highly recommended them to players. The final tournament of the year was played at the Bruce Avenue soccer fields on Oct. 21, with Paul the Wall FC taking home the title over Neymar Goals. Miller said “it was a great way to tie up our outdoor season before we take things indoors for the winter season.”
And now with a successful summer season behind them, KASA is accepting registrations for its winter indoor leagues, set to begin on Nov. 24 and Nov. 26. Miller said the league typically draws about 150 players from Kincardine, Ripley, Port Elgin and other neighbouring towns. She expects participation will remain strong, as the games provide an excellent opportunity to stay fit and meet new friends.
“Pre-COVID our leagues were always a great place to socialize and put in a solid hour of running,” said Miller.
Miller did note that it has been an effort for players to get back in shape after months off the field.
“After 16 months without soccer, we witnessed a record number of minor injuries upon our return due to inactivity during the COVID lockdowns,” said Miller. “This was a humble reminder to us all just how important physical maintenance is. Beyond that, the greatest part of returning to the pitch was being in a team setting. For many members, it was the first time they had been in a gathering since restrictions were imposed. The benefits of the league return have been invaluable.”
The association has also embarked on a new initiative this season, with the introduction of what Miller calls the jersey sustainability program. She noted that after years of playing, each player has accumulated multiple jerseys in various colours that are difficult to dispose of at the end of the season. Going forward, all players will be issued two jerseys, one blue and one orange, and will rotate their use at each game. The jerseys can be reused year after year or until they wear out, keeping them out of landfill and reducing the need to purchase fresh jerseys each season.
“Kincardine Adult Soccer Association (KASA) is always looking for new members to join, no matter what your skill level,” said Miller. “You can learn more about the league and upcoming registrations by visiting www.kincardineadultsoccer.com.”
Tammy Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent