June 30, 2010
The seeds for Guelph Soccer were planted in the 1960's, at a time when youth soccer did not really exist in the area. Guelph Soccer had its modest begin
nings in 1966 when forty young boys paid a mere $1 each to register, and were split into four teams of ten players. At that time, the
club's executive didn’t think soccer was a game for girls and a proposal to form a girls' league was defeated. However, within two years there were enough girls interested and with the times a-changing, the vote passed to begin a girls' league.
More than fifty years later, with over
With their vision to "develop a stronger community one goal at a time", Guelph Soccer is a natural fit as a partner for the Children's Foundation Free to Grow Program. By waiving registration fees for hundreds of children who have applied to play soccer, they have allowed our Free to Grow Program the freedom to assist more families by allocating our funding to other recreational activities. Along with their funding support, their staff has been flexible and committed to creating a seamless and easy application and funding assistance process for families in Guelph.
In 2009, the Children's Foundation recognized this new partnership with Guelph Soccer by presenting them with the Community Champion Award.
Alan Gould, Executive Director of Guelph Soccer, is presented with their Community Champion Award from CFGW Board Chair, Peter Barrow. (2009)
Since 2009, their continued partnership with the Free to Grow Program has resulted in hundreds of children having opportunities to get in the game.
"Guelph Soccer is proud to be a partner of the Children's Foundation Free to Grow program. The partnership allows us to focus on what we are good at - providing a quality soccer experience. It's important to us that we continue to look for ways to reduce barriers to entry to sport and recreation. We want to thank the Children's Foundation and all their incredible staff that make this program possible. " ~ Sara Orrell, General Manager
In 2019, Guelph Soccer was again recognized at the Benefactors Level in our Donor Hall of Fame, having donated over $100,000 over the course of a decade. Guelph Soccer shares the Children's Foundation mission to inspire kids to reach their full potential and their support is a testament to their commitment to making sure all kids have an equal opportunity to play and have fun!
Kerry Piccolotto (left), Chair of Guelph Soccer Board and Sara Orrell (right), General Manager of Guelph Soccer
accepting the Benefactor recognition plaque from Karyn Kirkwood (middle), Free to Grow Program Director. 2019
Feedback from grateful parents:
I have three very active boys who love to play sports and keep active. It was heartbreaking for me to tell my kids year after year that we couldn't enroll them in things because we didn't have the money. And they settled every time for playing at the park in hopes of one day being able to join a team. I cannot express how grateful they were and how happy and excited their little hearts were when I told them because of people's help and generosity and community support they are able to play soccer on a team and be taught by someone also has a passion for it. They looked forward to every week of play and learned so much. Thanks to all of you my children have been able to experience, grow and develop new interests and talents and none of it would have been possible without you!
This will be my oldest son's fifth year with Guelph Soccer. From his first year, he has always loved every season! He looks forward to improving his skills each week, making new friends, and challenging himself. He has learned sportsmanship, determination, and most importantly to have a blast, among many other things! I am thankful that Guelph Soccer has made the experience so positive each and every year.
Last summer. was my youngest son's first time joining anything. We were a bit nervous as he does have some speech delay, and also had not had much experience in group settings beforehand. He had some hesitation some days to join in, but the wonderful coaches made him feel comfortable and supported - that it was his choice how much he participated each game, and never made him feel pressured. Thanks to the wonderful connections made, he started to open up a bit more for the last few games, and was eager to say yes when I asked him if he would like to try again this year. We are very thankful to Guelph Goccer, as well as Free to Grow, for their support in helping to build a healthy, positive outlook towards keeping active, and many skills along the way.