Letter to the Editor: Opportunity awaits local soccer team in upcoming tournament
Published 10:23 am Thursday, June 1, 2023
To the Editor:
I wanted to write and footnote what a great opportunity it is for our boys soccer team to travel to Minnesota for the upcoming tournament in Blaine.
We lived in Minnesota for 25 years before retiring to Southern Shores 9 years ago. Our three sons were active in MYSA (Minnesota Youth Soccer Association) over the years they were eligible. Their teams played in the Blaine tournament for many years. The facility had 50 sodded soccer fields on a peat bog that was a joy to play on.
At that time some 700+ teams of youth ages 12 to 18 from all around the world competed. There were approximately 12 or 13 thousand youth up at the facility playing games from 8 am to sunset each day. Some days we had all three boys playing at different times and we would struggle to coordinate team player shuttles with the other parents. Our sons’ teams’ families hosted youth from Colombia, Hungary and Russia. The youth not only had a wonderful week of soccer playing up with some incredible foreign youth teams but had a great cultural experience with the hosted youth and their coaches. I was always amazed that 12,000 young sports competitors could spend a week competing and there was never a fight between competitors or an argument with any of the 700 international referees that managed hundreds of games every day. It was a great opportunity for all of us to learn about sportsmanship and fellowship with others from around the world.
I can assure you that the attending OBX youth soccer team members and their adult chaperones will grow in their understanding of the sport … as well as in the capability of different people to compete and share life without the rancor and hostility we unfortunately see too often in today’s media and American sports. I am grateful our youth are able to travel and change their lives with this wonderful opportunity. Events like this make our world and our future better!