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Park City Extreme Soccer Contest Brings Close To 500 Youth Soccer Teams To Town

Park City Soccer Club

The 15th annual Park City Extreme Soccer games begin this Friday with finals set for Sunday. Junior players will compete on fields throughout Summit and Wasatch counties for three days. This year, a special parent symposium has been added to the schedule. Carolyn Murray has this:

Nearly 500 soccer teams will participate and with that, they expect about 9000 players, coaches, managers and referees. They pull it all together with about 4000 volunteer hours from parents and community members.   

Shelly Gilwald, Executive Director of Park City Soccer, says teams come from all over the Intermountain West to play in the tournament. They’ll play on all the City and Basin Fields along with pitches in Oakley and Wasatch County.   

"We have spread the tournament over the past number of years into Oakley and also into Wasatch County.  We have four venues and 15 fields in Wasatch County so I don’t want people to get too nervous about the size of the tournament impacting Old Town Park City because it really doesn’t.”

Gilwald says each year they turn away 50 to 100 teams.  They want a full range of player skills and this year they have 5   brackets of play.  

“For us it’s very important to have all levels of play participate in the Extreme Cup because it’s not just about accepting the elite teams.  We have in the number of our age groups, actually five brackets from a platinum down to a copper because we encourage all levels of play. It’s also the makeup of our club.  We have a broad variety of kids in the club.”

The Athletic Republic Parent Symposium is Friday at 6:30 on the second floor of the Legacy Lodge at Park City Mountain Resort.   Chief Sports Science Officer, John Brenkus is a producer and host of ESPN Sports Science and a 6 time Emmy Winner.  He says the symposium is designed to empower parents.  The topics include performance excellence, nutrition, mindset development, reducing the risk of ACL injury and positive youth coaching.

“I am working very closely with Athletic Republic…really on messaging…how to turn athletic potential into performance. We’re really diving deep into all the work outs not only that Athletic Republic has but all that are out there in the market. There really isn’t just one place to go where you can have top notch speakers on a wide variety of topics. So I’ll be kicking off the event and we are going to have 15 minute talks, much like Ted Talks.”

Gilwald says soccer continues to grow in Park City. Even with the popularity of lacrosse, they’ve added 100 players and 5 new teams to regular club play. Their sponsors have contributed to making these games more sustainable by eliminating plastic bottles.

 “Because of our sponsors like Athletic Republic, Jamba Juice and Hide Out Canyon’s Soaring Hawk, we are able to tale a whole new level of sustainability this year. We are eliminating the sale of any plastic bottles at concessions. We have eliminated water bottles. We are now eliminating sports drinks. Our sponsors enable us to give away a reusable bottle. That’s one of our goals of the tournament as well is to really up the bar in terms of  youth sports and sustainability.”

The tournament begins early Friday morning. The parent symposium is scheduled Friday, 6:30 to 8 pm at the Legacy Lodge. For more information, call Athletic Republic Park City at 435-729-7230.        

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