Kids need to be active during the summer break and the best way for them to do that is by playing sports.
One of the best in Scarborough is soccer. But why soccer?
“It’s the most affordable sport because children don’t need a lot of equipment to play it,” says Scarborough resident Waylin Chang, whose two sons, ages 8 and 10, participated in a soccer league last summer. “A lot of the other sports require you to buy expensive equipment, which isn’t worth it since kids outgrow the equipment so fast.”
Soccer is also very easy for beginners to pick up rather than the more advanced summer sports, such as baseball, which has more complicated rules that kids might have trouble comprehending.
This especially applies to Scarborough, where many immigrants are more familiar with the beautiful game as they’ve likely experienced playing it in their home countries.
Ammar Raza, 16, says the multicultural feel of soccer is one of the main reasons it’s his favourite sport.
“Soccer is one of those sports that everyone plays and that’s really fun,” says Raza, who plays on Stephen Leacock Collegiate’s senior soccer team. “You get on the field and there are brown guys, black guys, white guys and Asians all playing in the same game. No other sport has that.”
Soccer is also a physically demanding sport that provides the player with good exercise, more developed leg muscles and improved stamina.
Neil Dutta, a physical trainer based in Scarborough, says soccer is a good sport to play for kids who want to stay fit.
“Playing soccer is an excellent way for kids to stay healthy. Kids around 6 to 12 are really at risk of getting out of shape because they don’t exercise since they don’t see it as fun,” Dutta says. “Soccer is a good way for them to have fun and exercise to stay healthy at the same time.”
Soccer is also very accessible to parents and kids.
Organizations such as the Scarborough Soccer Association and the Just 4 Kicks Soccer Club allow kids to play soccer both recreationally and competitively.
When asked what he thought was the most popular sport in Scarborough, Raza’s answer was simple.
“Oh, it’s soccer for sure,” he says. “Go anywhere in Scarborough and you’ll see soccer games happening in the area.”