Woodward, Okla. —
NEW LOCATION FOR SOCCER FIELDS
Another change at Kid's Inc. this season is the location of the soccer fields.
In the past, the under-6 and under-8 soccer games were typically played in the outfields of the softball diamonds. However, now that work has begun to construct the new softball complex, Medill said they have had to move these games to the baseball 5-plex.
“We've shifted the fields over for a season, but we're really looking forward to having the new softball fields,” he said.
But he expects the move will take some getting used to for parents.
“That's going to be something new with people having to find out where the soccer games are,” he said.
Parents will also have to get used to new parking arrangements that go along with the new field locations, Medill said.
“With the parking situation, parents are going to have to use the parking lots and have to walk a ways instead of just driving up to the fence and watching the games like they used to,” he said.
INCREASE IN SOCCER PARTICIPATION
Medill said an increase in soccer participation will only add to the parking issues.
“We have close to 190 kids playing soccer now,” he said.
There are 4 teams in the under-10 league, with about 18 kids on each team; 5 teams in the under-8 league with around 16 kids each; and 6 teams of at least 6 children each in the under-6 league.
Altogether, Medill said “I think that's up 10, maybe 20 kids, so we have seen an increase in soccer this year.”
As for the reason behind the increase, the Kid's Inc. director said he thinks it is from a combination of factors including population increase and an increase in interest in the sport.
“It's the same thing that the school says about kindergarten and 1st grade enrollment being up. That's the same ages where we're seeing the increase,” Medill said. “There must be a lot of new kids in town because we're seeing an increase like the school.”
But he hopes it is more than just having more kids in town and that it is also a sign of more kids wanting to become more active.
“I think it's good to see this kind of involvement with kids getting out and moving instead of just sitting in front of their computers,” he said.
Pipins said she is also encouraged by the number of children, especially girls, participating in soccer this year.
“I'm excited to see how many kids there are signed up for soccer because when I was a kid, even in high school, it was not really a sport you could play,” she said. “So I'm happy to see it is a growing sport and that there are so many girls in it. I think one of the under-6 teams is almost all girls even and that makes me happy.”
Beyond having more kids participate in soccer, Medill said he is excited that more parents are participating as well.
“If you go to a practice now you'll see 2, 3, 4 parents out there helping. It used to be only the head coach out there,” he said.
In addition he said more parents “get involved by being our flaggers on the sidelines during the games and some with more understanding of the games even volunteer to be referees.”
Medill said he thinks the increase in parental involvement may be because the parents participated in Kid's Inc. themselves as children.
“I think we're hitting that age group of parents who grew up and played soccer out here so they know more about soccer and feel more comfortable about getting involved,” he said.