KING CITY — South County YMCA will provide a youth soccer league program for the first time in King City this fall, following the city council’s approval of a contract with the nonprofit organization last week.
“We have been providing programming in South County for over 20 years, but this will be the first time we will officially partner with the City of King City to provide programming,” said Joe Gonzales, executive director of South County YMCA. “We are truly excited and honored to be given this tremendous opportunity.”
South County YMCA, a branch of the Central Coast YMCA, currently offers programs in Soledad, Gonzales and Greenfield, and now King City will be added to the list.
The eight-week soccer program for youth ages 3 to 14 includes coach and volunteer training, a character-development program and financial assistance to help cover costs for local families in need.
A pair of free soccer clinics will be offered as well, on July 19 and 26 at 7 p.m.
The YMCA will also host two Family Nights for the community at no cost, featuring group games and activities, face painting and refreshments. Location and times are to be determined.
“We at the South County Y are very excited to enhance what the city is already doing in providing recreation to the community, and hope to establish a long-term partnership into the future,” Gonzales said.
Previously, the King City Recreation Department had organized the city’s youth soccer program for the past several years. But, according to Recreation Coordinator Andrea Wasson, the program’s increasing demands and number of participants have proven to be too much for staff to manage.
“The program has required more and more staff time each year due to the number of participants and increased demands of the program,” Wasson said in a report to the council, which approved the contract at its June 27 meeting.
More than 200 children registered for the soccer program last year. With the YMCA taking over, the program has the potential to expand, as there is no limit to the number of participants — all youth who register will be able to play.
“We can accommodate as many children as possible that sign up for our program,” Gonzales said. “We do not cap our programs until the deadline to register, but most times if the parents ask, we do our very best to accommodate at just about any time of the season.”
As per the agreement with the city, South County YMCA will take on all expenses related to the soccer program and collect the fees. If revenue exceeds expenses and generates a surplus, the YMCA will return 10 percent to the city. If the balance is negative, the city will reimburse the YMCA up to $5,000.
Registration is now open for the fall youth soccer program. All games will be played on Saturdays at San Antonio Park in King City.
To register, or for more information, call the South County YMCA at 831-678-1239. Residents can also sign up for the program at the King City Recreation Department, 401 Division St.