Registration is underway for the Campbell River Eagles’ fall season, and practices have already begun.
Cora Advocaat, who has been taking registrations and helping plan the season as part of the executive, says she’s excited to be going into her second year with the organization as they look to continue the positive momentum they began last year.
“We have such a great group of coaches, parents and kids,” Advocaat says. “It’s really a great organization to be a part of because it feels like everyone’s in it for the right reason – for the kids.”
And while football isn’t for everyone, Advocaat admits, she feels the main deterrent for parents is the perceived violence of the sport.
“There’s no way of denying it, if a child plays any sport, there’s a chance they’re going to get injured,” Advocaat says, but adds that they devote large portions of practice time to “safe play” in an attempt to lower those chances.
“And our coaches are great,” she says. “Safe play is a priority for them, not only in practice, but also in games. When they – or we as parents and administrators – see behaviour out on that field that isn’t right, we report it to the league, and they take steps.”
And that behaviour doesn’t need to be physical in nature for it to be unacceptable.
“There’s also no bullying or negativity allowed,” Advovcaat says. “It’s definitely not like you might see on TV, with coaches yelling in players faces and all that. Our coaches make sure everything stays positive and fun.”
On top of the fun, Advocaat says, kids involved in football also get up to six hours of practice time in a week, they get socialization, exercise, and they get another form of structure, routine, focus, discipline, respect, and development of teamwork skills.
“Everyone’s always saying that we need to get kids out and doing more outside, together, and that’s exactly what football does, and gives them a heck of a lot of other skills they’ll need in life, too.”
Practices are currently running Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at either Timberline or Robron field – subject to availability, but Advocaat says if you can’t make every practice, that’s perfectly fine, as long as you communicate that to the administrative team.
There are two age groups for Eagles Football – Peewee is for children aged 7 to 11 and Jr. Bantam is for 12 and 13 year-olds – but they all practice together during the week. The first games are scheduled for Sept. 10, so there’s still time to get a few practices in before games start.
Contact Advocaat on the Eagles Football Facebook page or by phone or text at 250-204-6566.