Nov. 6, 2003 – More than 270 youngsters from throughout the territory are expected to take part in the 3rd annual Youth Soccer Jamz Tournament and Soccerfest this weekend, hosted by the St. Thomas district of the V.I. American Youth Soccer Organization.
Games will be played Friday afternoon and evening at the Charlotte Amalie High School and Antilles School fields, Saturday at the Antilles and University of the Virgin Islands St. Thomas campus fields, and Sunday at UVI.
Play is to get under way Friday at 3 p.m. at Antilles and 3:30 p.m. at CAHS. Matches will begin Saturday and Sunday at 8 a.m.
The tournament will be the first in which teams ages 12 and under from the all-girls leagues formed on St. Thomas and St. Croix this year will compete, according to a release.
Joe Campana, coordinator of the tournament and V.I. AYSO assistant regional commissioner, said while the competition will be intense, the real focus of the weekend is on camaraderie among the youngsters, ages 8-13.
In AYSO, "everyone plays," Campana explained. "Each team member gets to contribute to the success of the team … We are teaching our children that youth soccer is about more than just kicking a ball. It is about cooperation and fair play."
AYSO has "the fastest-growing youth program in the Virgin Islands," with more than 540 youngsters ages 4 ½ to 18 practicing on weekdays and playing games each weekend, the release stated.
All coaches, referees, assistants and administrators volunteer their time and talents. Coaches and referees take courses given by nationally certified trainers before the start of each season.
St. Croix will host its second international tournament next spring, with teams from through the United States, the Caribbean and other areas expected to take part. Tracy Bingham is the St. Croix teams coordinator, regional commissioner and Caribbean area director.
To learn more about the weekend's events or the soccer program, call Campana at 775-9360 or 715-1270, or Bingham at 778-1655, and visit the V.I. AYSO Web site.
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