Moorestown Department of Parks and Recreation offers a number of fall programs, but one in particular has Kahra Buss excited.
“The youth soccer league we have is a very exciting program,” she said. “For most kids, it’s the first program they can participate in, so it’s very fun to see the next crop of kids who come through every year.”
The youth soccer program has been around for the better half of the century, and according to Buss, it continues to get more children involved every year.
“Thousands of kids have passed through our youth soccer league,” she said. “This year, we are expecting to get more than 500 kids signed up, which is a tremendous number.”
The league is designed as a developmental and learning opportunity for the kids, as well as a chance to play within the community. Buss has seen a shift in the role of recreational soccer in recent years. Whereas kids used to play for the majority of their youth, many kids are now joining travel teams at a younger age.
“The kids love playing against their friends,’ she said. “Instead of traveling all over the place and playing teams from other towns, we try to provide a community aspect, where kids will know the players on the other team.”
There is also a charitable side to the program that sets it apart from other programs offered by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Sean Fischel Connect Inc., an organization designed to support children’s health and well-being, sponsors the league.
Sean Fischel Connect was started in memory of Sean Fischel, who lost his life after battling hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in 2013 at 7 years old. Sean participated in the Moorestown soccer league, and the organization continues to provide support.
“It’s a tremendous thing they do for the community,” Buss said. “As a recreation league, we try to do as much for the community as possible, and it’s always nice to see that our efforts are appreciated.”
Sean Fischel Connect will be joined by Live Civilly, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing innovative youth service initiatives at the Sept. 6 Soccer Kickoff. The event will serve as an opportunity to begin the soccer season, as well as a chance to give back to the community with a food drive and a sports equipment swap.
“The kick-off is a great way for everyone to get together and give back,” Buss said. “We have two great charity organizations that come out, and we always get a good turnout for this event.”
The Sept. 6 kick-off will also give the kids the chance to meet their coaches and teammates. The kids will also participate is a skills assessment to showcase their talents.
“It’s a really nice community day,” Buss said. “The kids get the chance to come out and be with their friends, and the parents get to meet the coaches.”
Registration for the youth soccer league is open until Aug.15, and the season begins Sept. 13.
To register or find more information, visit www.moorestownrec.com.