The ’s youth soccer league will kick off with a little more fanfare than usual this weekend.
Children participating in the league can show up between 9-10:30 a.m. Saturday morning at to find out their team assignments and engage in a league meet and greet, as well as participate in drills.
co-founder Kahra Buss, , said the league kickoff event will also feature a “soccer swap,” where players will have the opportunity to bring in used equipment—cleats, shin guards, etc.—and trade it in for new used equipment.
Another new element of youth soccer this year will be the creation of the “Civility Awards.” Each week, a player will be recognized with the award—created through a collaboration between the rec department and Live Civilly—for “acts of sportsmanship and civility,” Buss explained.
“Coaches can nominate kids on their team or other teams,” she said. “Part of the recreation philosophy is getting out there to play for the fun of it … and good sportsmanship.
"It's great to recognize the kids when they win. It's also great that Suzie helped another player up after she knocked her over."
Next Sunday, Sept. 23, will host, in partnership with Live Civilly, a “Give Back Night” from 5-8 p.m. at their Moorestown franchise on Nixon Drive. Buss said the event is set up as a friendly competition between the various youth soccer teams.
“The team with the greatest number of people that come in that night will win a complete team lunch” at the end of the season, she explained.
Perhaps more important is the fact that Jersey Mike’s has pledged to donate 20 percent of the sales from that day to Live Civilly to support various community outreach programs, including the Ministerium Food Pantry and afterschool nutrition and education assistance programs held at the .
Parks and recreation director Theresa Miller said the department will be launching a new soccer program for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students on Saturday, Sept. 22—though if the department is still getting registrations, the start date could be postponed.
“Attendance is up in all the programs,” said Miller, who mentioned the “overwhelming response” she got for the weekly soccer clinics that will be held at Jeff Young Park every Tuesday during the season. It was so popular, in fact, that the clinic is unfortunately filled up and they’re not accepting new registrations, she said.
The youth soccer season starts on Sept. 22.