OCEANSIDE — The Women’s Sun, Surf, and Soccer Tournament held at Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Aug. 14 raised more than $700 for youth recreation scholarships.
“Parks and Recreation is trying to get creative to help raise funds for youth recreation programs,” Eileen Turk, neighborhood services division manager, said.
The monies raised will go into the city scholarship program that helps low-income families afford the cost of Oceanside youth Parks and Recreation programs.
“It helps any of our youth programs — swimming, basketball, football,” Judy Barz, sports and athletic supervisor, said. “Scholarships provide 50 percent of the fee. That way it allows us to generate more money to benefit more kids.”
Tournament monies will provide about 20 boys and girls the opportunity to be part of a sports team.
“It’s especially important in these hard economic times, and for families that have two kids to put through leagues,” Carl Mc Cullough, recreation sports specialist, said.
Recreation programs provide youth numerous health and personal growth benefits.
“Kids learn lifelong lessons, the structure to get to practices and games on time, teamwork, lessons learned through wins and losses,” Mc Cullough said. “That’s where I started out, in recreation sports in the third grade. I grew up in all these programs.”
Tournament teams raised funds and put on crowd-pleasing performances.
Women’s recreational teams showed plenty of heart.
Players went through skills training sessions prior to the tournament and drew straws on game day to form teams.
“It was a 2-1 victory (by Blitz) in the final game,” Barz said.
“All games were very close. Teams were very balanced and very exciting. It was an opportunity for women of a lower skill level to feel that it was their day on the field,” she said.
Women’s competitive league teams from Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista and San Marcos brought a fierce game to the field.
Simple Times won the tournament at the competitive level after a 4-1 shootout of kicker against goalie broke the 1-1 tie in the final game.
“The competitive division plays at a very skilled level,” Barz said.
Tournament players mirror the wide range of players who participate in Oceanside Parks and Recreation year-round beginner, competitive and advanced leagues.
“Players are 21 and up,” Mc Cullough said.
“There’s a pretty good gap in age. They range from 21 year olds to 40-year-old ladies. It’s a great league,” he said.