VERO BEACH — The Indian River Soccer Association (IRSA) and Sports Authority are teaming up for Soccer in the Schools, in which IRSA will offer training, and Sports Authority will provide donations of soccer equipment to local schools.
Sports Authority is proud to support youth sports in Indian River County with a new location opening on Aug. 13 at 6560 20th St., in front of the Indian River Mall.
Excitement over soccer peaked recently when the U.S. Women’s National Team played in the World Cup final game against Japan. The game had more viewers than any Major League Baseball or NBA game in cable history, according to TCPalm.com columnist Ben Becker. Becker noted the Treasure Coast-West Palm Beach market drew the third-highest ratings in the nation.
“We’re expecting a boost in registrations, particularly among girls,” said Larry Reisman, IRSA president. “Perhaps our two biggest registration increases came after the U.S. men hosted the World Cup in 1994 and the women won the World Cup in 1999.”
IRSA, which has multiple programs for children 4-18, kicks off its competitive season this month. The recreational season, played at Hobart Park Soccer Complex and Lakewood Regional Park, begins in September.
And while parents can take advantage of convenient signups now at irsoccer.com, IRSA also will be teaming up with Sports Authority for registrations at the new store. They will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, August 13, 20 and 27 at the new Vero Beach store. These will be among the last opportunities to take advantage of discounted seasonal and annual rates.
Also, at the grand opening August 13, as part of the Soccer in the Schools program, anyone who uses the coupon attached to the IRSA flier to be sent home from school will get 25 percent off any one item.
As for Soccer in the Schools, IRSA hopes to be able to save schools a little bit of money by offering schools soccer balls, pinnies and cones donated by Sports Authority. Ian Brice, IRSA’s director of coaching, will offer schools free ball skills clinics. If your school is interested in participating, email Brice at email@example.com.
IRSA, which has served as many as 1,100 county children a year, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Last week, the Florida Youth Soccer Association named IRSA’s TOPS program for developmentally disadvantaged youngsters the best in Florida. IRSA also has an adult program, which has grown to about 50 members.
The 501-c(3) organization built and operates the Hobart Soccer Complex on land it leases from Indian River County west of the county’s fairgrounds. Unlike most soccer clubs in the region, IRSA receives no tax support from the county for operations.