New partnership provides clear pathway for youth soccer players


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The YMCA of Southeastern NC and the Wilmington Hammerheads are partnering together to serve more kids and families through recreational soccer.

Starting in the fall of 2019, the YMCA of Southeastern NC will operate all of the recreational soccer programming while the Wilmington Hammerheads focus on their classic programming.

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This will provide a pathway for youth soccer players that begins at the YMCA recreational level and continues through the Wilmington Hammerhead Classic Program for those who want to advance their soccer skills beyond the recreational level.

“I think its unique because its about two groups that want to do what’s best for the kids and so we have put our resources together to make it really convenient and fun and get more kids playing the game,” said Wilmington Hammerheads Executive Director Carson Porter.

Both organizations currently serve about 4,000 youth athletes.

“We start at about age 2, they’re not playing competitive games against others, we’re introducing them to the sport, all the way up to age 18, our high schoolers, and about 12 percent of them will go to that next step beyond recreational,” said Lee Spooner, athletics director for the YMCA of Southeastern NC.

So why are so many kids interested in recreational soccer today?

“Its just a fun sport and I think it allows the kids to be kids, they get to run, they get to chase a ball, its just a natural way for them to be active and move around, and there’s a lot less coaching than in other sports, in other words its the players’ game,” Porter said.

For more information, contact the YMCA of Southeastern NC or the Wilmington Hammerheads.