Photo by JOSH ALDRICH -- for Josh's story -- Red Deer Renegade's Claire Lye

Photo by JOSH ALDRICH -- for Josh's story -- Red Deer Renegade's Claire Lye

Record number of teams participate in RDCSA soccer tournament

The Red Deer City Soccer Association hosted the biggest indoor tournament in the city’s history over Family Day Long Weekend. The tournament was made up of 68 teams boys and girls teams from the U10 to U18 levels. This meant roughly 1,000 players from across Alberta took part in the four day tournament at the Westerner Agricentre and at the Collicutt Centre.

The Red Deer City Soccer Association hosted the biggest indoor tournament in the city’s history over Family Day Long Weekend.

The tournament was made up of 68 teams boys and girls teams from the U10 to U18 levels. This meant roughly 1,000 players from across Alberta took part in the four day tournament at the Westerner Agricentre and at the Collicutt Centre.

“The spin off to the economy … you have parents and coaches in town, assistant coaches, you’re looking at 1,500 to 1,600 people from out of town and Red Deer,” said the association’s business operation manager Brian Desjardins, also pointing to the tournament’s main sponsor, Sheraton Red Deer, in helping them host the tournament. “All of the hotels were full … we put a lot of people in rooms who spent a lot of money in restaurants, etc. It was amazing to have this many people come to Red Deer for the tournament.”

The soccer association has run the tournament for years, but for the first time they were able to include a non-boarded division — indoor soccer is generally played in a hockey rink without ice or in a field house with walls.

But with the installation of the biggest non-boardred indoor turf fields in Alberta at the Westerner Agricentre this winter, organizers were able to expand the tournament this year.

“Having two fields that allow our teams — the Renegades and our house league teams — to use them during the winter … it allows players to continue practicing, playing games, develop themselves and have fun,” said Desjardins. “We’ve heard nothing but amazing comments from coaches and players from out of town … they really appreciate the quality of our new fields.”

NOTES — Registration is open for the outdoor season until April 21 with the season starting May 4. Register for both Renegades competitive soccer and house league soccer through www.rdcsa.com … Full results for the tournament were not available at press time.