WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington’s annual soccer tournament was in town for the weekend, creating quite the economic impact across the Cape Fear.
The Wilmington Hammerheads Youth FC hosted 320 teams from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia for the 24th annual Seaside Soccer Classic.
“I think my favorite part about the whole thing are just the kids enjoying themselves, just the smiles on their faces,” Wilmington Hammerheads Youth Soccer Executive Director, Carson Porter said.
With thousands of people in town for the tournament, the youth soccer championship scored $4.43M in revenue. Wilmington Hammerheads Youth President Bennie Sheally says the money will be used to give back to the city.
“What it does is, it allows our club to be able to give back to the community. And get involved with not only the city, but the counties and try to bring bigger and better things. Such as fields and athletic facilities to the community,” Sheally said.
The tournament gives back to the community in multiple ways.
“Again, I mean it’s just about all the life lessons kids can learn through sports,” Porter said. “So yes, people are trying to compete and trying to win games. But what we’re trying to do as a club, and really what we’re trying to do through this tournament is teaching kids how to be good teammates. And teaching kids how to be good winners and good losers.”
Life lessons players like Henry Steven look forward to each year when the tournament comes to town.
“It brings the community together. And it’s nice to have something other than the beach to look forward to,” Steven said.
For more information on the 24th annual Seaside Soccer Classic and which organizations the money from the tournament will benefit, click here.