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Posted: June 6, 2016

Record numbers expected for soccer tourney

Sam Steele Days is the largest event to hit Cranbrook on a yearly basis and it’s about to get bigger!

Our local soccer association, KEYSA (Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association) has announced record numbers for this years expanded tournament taking place over the Sam Steele weekend (June 17-19), with over 80 teams registered.

The Sam Steele Youth Soccer Tournament is sponsored by many local businesses. East Kootenay Community Credit Union, Dairy Queen, Players Bench, A&W, McDonalds, The Townsman and Pharmasave.

For this year’s tournament, there are teams coming from as far away as Mackenzie, B.C., Edmonton, Alberta, from the east and many other teams from B.C. and Alberta – not to mention our own home grown teams.

Each team brings a roster of 12—18 players, and their families, bringing in a minimum of an additional 1000 players and their families to the Key City for this weekend.

“Our volunteer committee organizing this tournament has been fantastic in co-ordinating what is now becoming the largest organized youth soccer tournament in the southern interior,” stated Pamela Berry, KEYSA President.

The tournament is organized by a volunteer group led by Marcie Peters and Nicole Fulton, who have a minimum of one parent volunteer per local team on their committee.

“We will have some fantastic soccer on Sam Steele Weekend and we hope that our community embraces all of the travelling players and takes the opportunity to watch some high calibre matches,” Peters shared.

KEYSA 5The KEYSA Rovers, our local youth soccer teams, have 13 teams entered into the competition and the tournament offers these athletes great opportunity for competitive play.

The tournament season started in May with numerous KEYSA Rover teams travelling to Nelson, Invermere and Lethbridge over the few weekends, with more tournaments scheduled throughout June and into September.

“With an estimated 1,000 travelling players coming to our community, the economic spin off for Cranbrook is huge. Direct spending for these travelling players and their families combined will be over $1 million over the course of the weekend, and considering the local multipliers effects, could impact Cranbrook with $3 million dollars in economic spin off.   Hotels, restaurants, retail shopping will be the largest benefactors of the spending.

“We hope to see two signs from our local hotel/motels…the first sign ‘No Vacancy’ and the second sign ‘Welcome Sam Steele Soccer Players,’” said Jason Wheeldon, local Sponsor Chair of the organization.

KEYSA would like to offer its sincerest appreciation to all of its volunteers and extend a special thank you to the Sam Steele Society for their support and assistance in coordination, as well as the City of Cranbrook’s Rec & Leisure and Public Works Departments for their assistance in field set ups.

KEYSA is the umbrella organization for youth soccer in the East Kootenay. They organize and operate the KEYSA House Soccer Program (for ages 5-12 years of age) and Kootenay Rovers REP (ages 13-18) and Development Soccer Programs (ages 10-12), in addition to assisting/supporting Kimberley Youth Soccer and Fernie Youth Soccer Associations. There are over 550 players registered in the local KEYSA organization this year.

Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association (KEYSA)

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