Whitehorse Daily Star

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BALL SKILLS – Brooklyn Miller of the St. Elias Community School Eagles controls the ball under a challenge from a Rankin Inlet, Nunavut player during the recent Super Soccer Event in Yellowknife. Eagles teammate Marley Kinney is in the background. Photo by MARTY SAMIS

Haines Junction Eagles again successful at the Super Soccer tournament

The switch across the Yukon to futsal from indoor soccer is being credited for some fancy foot work.

By Chuck Tobin on May 10, 2018

The switch across the Yukon to futsal from indoor soccer is being credited for some fancy foot work.

Educational assistant Cindi Cowie of the St. Elias Community School in Haines Junction returned recently from their annual trip to the Junior Super Soccer Event in Yellowknife the last weekend of April.

Her Grade 7 girls came home with silver out of a field of 10 teams across the North. The Grade 7 boy’s finished third from a field of 11.

In attending the event over the last three years, the Haines Junction squad has fared very well, Cowie pointed out in an interview this week.

She recalled the observations shared with her by Uli Nottling, the physical education teacher at Weledeh School in Yellowknife who is instrumental in organizing the tournament.”

“He said to me your teams always stand out different from our N.W.T. teams, they pass the ball, they have quick technical skills that our kids just don’t have,” Cowie said.

“I think this is from all the futsal we have been playing for the last few years,” she said. “I think growing up playing futsal from an early age has given them the skills.”

Cowie said the Haines Junction students, along with four from Whitehorse, were constantly playing for position and passing the ball.

It’s commonly accepted that the rules to futsal require increased ball handling and passing skills. While the indoor alternative to indoor soccer has been around for almost 90 years in other parts of the world, the Canadian soccer community and the Yukon soccer community have only transitioned to futsal from indoor soccer rules in recent years. Futsal replaced indoor soccer at the Arctic Winter Games at the Nuuk, Greenland Games in 2016.

Cowie, who’s also a coach and a coordinator for the Haines Junction Soccer Club, said this was the first year in the four years they’ve been attending that they were able to field a girls team and a boys team. In previous years there weren’t enough girls to field a girls-only team so they had to play co-ed, she explained.

Cowie said with the assistance of one girl from Whitehorse, she was able to field a girl’s team for the first time. The boy’s team was made up of five players from the Haines Junction and three from Whitehorse.

“The students had a blast playing soccer and enjoyed meeting teams from across the North, as far as Rankin Inlet, Nunavut,” she said.

Cowie said she’d like to recognize the many in the Yukon’ soccer community who’ve travelled to the Junction over the years to share their talents and passion for the game.

The annual trip to the Super Soccer Event is backed by the support the schools receives from community organization like the Haines Junction Lions Club, the school council and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, she said.

Cowie said without the travel funding provided by Lotteries Yukon, the trip just wouldn’t be possible.

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