Chairman Bill Sherfesee told the crowd gathered last Monday at Scoggins Hall in the City of Rockmart complex that they hope to make the program more competitive and bring a better understanding of the sport to the community.
“We’re trying to change the face of Rockmart soccer a little bit,” Sherfesee said.
“One of the things that (city recreation coordinator) Jeff Hulsey realized as the program grew is that we are basically playing an advanced form of kickball.”
Hulsey and Sherfesee had been talking about forming a board to help facilitate the program and allow Hulsey and the recreation department to explore other possible programs for both children and adults.
The league will kick-off their preparations for the fall season with a three-week summer program that will provide fundamental instruction for all children as well as an extra aspect to help involve parents.
The camp, which will be held every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, June 7-25, will run from 6:30-8 p.m. each day.
The cost is $50 each for the first two children in a family and then $35 for each one after. Participants will also receive a soccer pocket guide for parents and a T-shirt.
The program will also offer free soccer clinics for parents that will cover vocabulary and rules to provide a better understanding of the dynamics of the sport.
“We really want to emphasize the parents’ involvement and education,” Sherfesee said. “What will start with them will continue with the 4-year-olds and up.”
The camp will conclude with a send-off party on Friday, June 25.
Registration for the summer program will be held at Scoggins Hall from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on May 8, 15 and 22 and from 6-8 p.m. on May 11 and 18.
Those wishing to register may also do so at Sew Purdy at the corner of Marble Street and Elm Street in downtown Rockmart during normal business hours.
After five seasons, Rockmart Youth Soccer has had over 200 kids participate in the last two years and sent an all-star team to a tournament in Calhoun last season.
City commissioner and recreation committee chair Lucille Harris said that the soccer board’s impact is an example of how hard the city is working to make sure the recreation department is reaching its potential.
“As you can tell, we’re trying to raise the bar for the recreation department as well as our children,” Harris told the crowd last Monday. “We’re trying to give them a little more stability to help prepare them for their future.”
Both Harris and Sherfesee emphasized the importance of acting as a feeder program for both the Rockmart Middle School and Rockmart High School soccer programs.
“We must give them what they need before they get to middle school and high school,” Harris said.