There were so many youngsters out on the fields of Fort St. James on June 16 some might have thought the town was being invaded.
But the hundreds of children in uniform were in town for an area soccer tournament which brought teams from Fort St. James, Fraser Lake, Vanderhoof and Burns Lake. There were an estimated 700 people at the tournament, with parents, players and coaches all included.
The players were ages five to 10 and there were 35 teams in total, playing 53 games. The focus for the younger players was on enjoying the game, not the final score, according to organizer Dave Birdi.
“The main thing we’re looking at is participation of all kids,” he said.
The tournament also offered older youth the chance to try out refereeing and officiating for the younger players.
The next area soccer tournament will have taken place after the paper goes to press, on June 23 in Vanderhoof, and will be for players 11 to 18 years old.
The Divisional Tournament is more competitive and trophies will have been awarded to the winning teams.