MacKenzie Gebhardt, left, was one of the 30 Valley Soccer players to play in Canada during their recent trip. Above, Gebhardt is seen in action against Smiths Fall.
For 30 players from the Valley Soccer Club, the beginning of July brought a unique international experience as they got to travel to Ottawa, Canada for a series of soccer matches in the Canadian capital city.
The club has established a sister club relationship over the past few years with the Ottawa Internationals Soccer Club, which bring teams to the area each fall.
The journey for the Valley Soccer team began July 6, arriving in late afternoon in Ottawa. In the evening the teams received training from coaches from the Ottawa Internationals in preparation of the next day's matches. While the results on the field may not have gone the way the teams hoped (the girls went 0-3-0 and the boys went 1-2-0), the experience was still a very positive one for the players. The girls took on teams from West Ottawa SC, Smiths Fall SC and OISC, all U14 teams (which presented a challenge, since Valley was a mix of U13 and U14 players). The boys faced competition from the Ottawa Royals SC and two teams from OISC.
After the two Saturday matches for each team and the Sunday match for each team, the group got an opportunity to see the sites of the city. Among the sites visited were the parliament, various museums, Rideau Falls and the Rideau Canal, the prime minister’s residence and various embassies. On Monday, the players got an opportunity to explore Byward Market, Canada’s oldest continually operating open air market.
The club looks forward to the visit to the area by their Canadian friends in the fall and hopes this is the start of regular journeys for the club’s teams.