On a sunny early March Sunday, 100 young athletes from the Greater Victoria Minor Football Association gather at Belmont Secondary School for a special preseason skills camp. The training was led by coaching staff from the UBC Thunderbirds who had come over for the weekend to put on two clinics; one for the local minor football coaches on Saturday and one for the players on Sunday. Also in attendance to offer encouraging words and inspiration was Hamilton Tiger-Cats Centre, Tim O’Neill, who started his football career playing youth football in the GVMFA.
Players from all five Greater Victoria clubs were put through a myriad of drills and mini games to hone their skills and prepare for the upcoming spring football season. Thunderbirds head coach, Shawn Olsen, ensured that the pace of activities was kept fast and fun for all. At the closing ceremony, The Sooke Seahawks’ Avan Wickheim (Atom), Owen Cheng (Atom) and Greyson Hoolaeff (Peewee) were singled out by the UBC coaching staff for outstanding achievement awards.
A month of practices in March will culminate with a league wide jamboree with teams from north of the Malahat joining the CRD based teams for a day of fast paced mini games as the final tune up for the start of the regular season in April.
There is still time for interested boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 14 to sign up for their local club. Information can be found at www.victoriafootball.ca.
Submitted by Richard Jomha