Premiership soccer school finds way into the Beach

After much persistence by officials at the Premiership Academy in England, the organization will hold its workshops and tournaments in the Beach after all.

In a press release sent by the Boardwalk Place, located at Ashbridges Bay Park, David Valente, General Manager of Sales and Social Director, states that the Premiership Academy will be holding its “Grassroots Soccer Camp” at Pantry Park soccer fields from June 25 to July 4.

There will also be soccer tournaments held on June 28-29 and July 5-6.

The camps and tournaments were initially proposed to take place at a temporary field at Woodbine Beach near the bathing station. Big screens were to be erected for soccer fans to view EURO 2012 Championship matches.

The idea was quickly turned down by City officials stating that it did not conform to usage of the park.

Boardwalk Place owner George Foulidis along with Valente, were hoping to see the project through for the sake of the sport and the community.

Foulidis told the City that he would step out of the equation in order to have the British conduct their camps in Toronto, which he did.

Premiership Academy applied for permits directly to the City and was granted usage of Pantry Park for the event, which is located just north of Woodbine Beach.

Boardwalk Place, according to Valente, will be solely providing food and beverages for the event.

Ward 32 councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon is happy to have the camps in the Beach and says that she is “all for innovation and new ideas as long as they follow the rules.”

McMahon was concerned that the original plan would block off a large area of the beach and prevent the community from using it.

Premiership Academy’s Gary O’Hare told us that “the City recognises the size and scale of youth soccer development, there was a misunderstanding in terms of our status, we are a not for profit organisation established to promote grass roots soccer development, once we explained to the city that any profit generated goes directly back into communities and development programs then they were happy to support us.”

O’Hare is very satisfied with the way the City has handled the issue and is grateful to many of the key staff at City Hall.

“The long term goal is to engage fully with local clubs and communities to establish programs that would include cultural exchanges to Europe but we also want to engage with teams and schools that may not necessarily have the funds to pay for our camps,” said O’Hare.

People interested in registering can do so at the Premiership Academy’s website

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