Archive for Thursday, August 6, 2009

Basehor-Linwood Soccer Association awards scholarships, seeks growth

August 6, 2009

Members of the Basehor-Linwood Soccer Association are looking for ways to promote the game locally.

The association, which is dedicated to helping area youths enjoy the game of soccer, is gauging interest from parents and children on how to grow the game in the community.

Ella Seaman and Susan Murrell lead a group of association members that started in 2007 and have implemented programs that promote the game.

BLSA conducts fundraising events, sponsors camps and the past two years has distributed more than $4,000 in scholarships.

The association awarded $2,000 in scholarships to graduating Basehor-Linwood High School seniors this year.

Hannah Auman, Jennifer Ciszewski, Tanner Bowers and Jonas Box each received $500 scholarships.

Scholarship applicants were evaluated based on their accomplishments in soccer, academic achievement and community/student involvement. This is the second year for the scholarships to be awarded.

“We have a very explicit form (applicants fill out) that asks questions about academic achievement, community involvement, soccer and achievement,” Seaman said.

Scholarship recipients are selected by an independent committee. The scholarships are awarded to encourage players to continue playing soccer.

Scholarship funds are raised by volunteers who work at Kansas City T-Bones baseball games and Kansas City Wizards soccer games at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. The Basehor-Linwood Soccer Association receives a percentage of all proceeds earned from working concession stands at the games.

Volunteers who work the games can apply a portion of that money to their son or daughter’s account with BLSA to pay for soccer fees or equipment.

“It is a way that people can afford those things that they might not otherwise be able to,” Seaman said.

BLSA also offers micro soccer, where young children play soccer once each week, and summer camps to teach the game of soccer to younger players.

In previous years, the Kansas Rush Soccer Club of Olathe has coached the camp, but this year Basehor-Linwood alumni returned to coach instead.

BLSA also is exploring the idea of offering youth soccer leagues.

“We are trying to reach out to the community more,” Seaman said. “We are considering starting a league in the Basehor-Linwood area.”

Whether or not a youth soccer league begins play depends on the interest of parents with young children who will play in the league. They also need volunteers to run the prospective league that could give elementary and middle school students a place to play soccer.

BLSA will have an informational meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 18. For more information on the league, visit the Web site BLsoccer.com.

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