Bunbury’s littlest but definitely most excited soccer fanatics were treated to the chance to meet their soccer idol when Perth Glory star Jamal Reiners stopped in at a school holiday workshop on Friday afternoon.
The workshops were held on Thursday, July 13 and Friday, July 14 with former Perth Glory champion Michael Garcia running the day’s events, sharing his own skills and knowledge with the eager young players.
Currently recovering from a nasty broken ankle, Reiners was unable to have a kick with the kids, but did answer all of their pressing soccer questions, and autographed everything from their posters to their shoes.
More than 50 children took part in Bunbury, taking the total number of participants in the soccer schools around WA these school holidays to over 400.
Sponsored by Perth Glory and Go For 2 & 5, the two-day workshops are held four times a year and encourage 4 to 13-year-olds to participate in the sport, stay active and healthy and hone in on their skills.
Country Coastal Junior Soccer Association vice-president Marina Quain said the growth in numbers reflects soccer’s new status as Australia’s largest participation sport.
“Soccer in the South West is growing in record numbers,” she said.
“Department of Sport announced that soccer is the biggest club-based participating sport nationally and that is quite evident in the South West
“And we’ve definitely been impressed with the talent down here as well, so many kids with some great skills.”
And in even more exciting soccer news, Perth Glory have plans in the works to bring a Westfield Women’s League game to Bunbury to be played in January 2018.
“We now have a girl’s only junior league and we have over 100 girls participating in that,” Ms Quain said.
“Girls playing soccer is on just as much of an increase (as the boys).
“We’ve got so many girls that have never played before that now have a platform to play in the equivalent environment, it’s wonderful.”