It’s official. Julyfest Soccer is on. While the Kimberley Chamber had previously announced there would be no soccer tournament this year because they didn’t have an organizer, a group out of Cranbrook has stepped up.
It is in fact the men’s team, the Unicorns, many times JulyFest champions, who have taken on the task of organizing the huge tournament, which at its peak attracted 60 teams.
A.J. Wheaton says he just couldn’t imagine JulyFest without the soccer tournament.
“I’ve been playing soccer at the Fest since I was 16. It was what you did. No weddings, no dates. Soccer. We are really excited to pick up where Simon (previous organizer Davidson) left off and we thank him for all his hard work for all those years.”
Wheaton was just waiting word from B.C. Soccer about sanctioning the event, and they got it on Friday, April 8, 2022.
Being sanctioned by B.C. Soccer is important because it means the players, many of whom play in competitive leagues, are insured in case of injury. Now that that formality has been taken care of, Wheaton says it’s full steam ahead.
The city of Kimberley has confirmed that there are six fields available, and School District 6 has been approached about more fields.
Wheaton and his group will now begin reaching out to teams. He is in the process of transferring the website julyfestsoccer.com over to his group, along with the social media accounts.
Registration will open on May 1 and remain open till June 30.
With no JulyFest for the past few years, Wheaton has no idea how many teams will respond but he believes there will be positive feedback.
The plan is to run all the regular divisions if enough teams sign up. That includes men’s recreational and competitive, women’s recreational and competitive and the masters.
“We will do our best to get 60 teams, although we may not get that this year. But we’re going to go at it with everything we have.”