Beach Community Soccer League has thrived thanks to volunteer and co-founder Michael Teversham

Michael Teversham has been involved with the Beach Community Soccer League for more than 20 years. Photo by Alan Shackleton.

By EMMY CURTIS

The Beach Community Soccer League (BCSL) has been a part of the community since 2003, focusing on recreational play over competition, and giving an equal opportunity for everyone to get involved in the game.

In its earlier years, BCSL didn’t have the same opportunities to get involved as it does today, and part of that change is due to founder and longtime volunteer Michael Teversham.

Teversham, who volunteered with BCSL for more than 20 years, had originally signed his two kids up to participate in the league and quickly noticed that the communication and organization was a bit lacking.

“I would arrive, and there would be roughly 30 kids, and there was no one from the league,” said Teversham. “I took the 30 kids, and I set up two garbage can nets and we played the game,” and that became the league.

It was later, when a previous organizer left the league, that the city came to Teversham and said, “Do you guys want to do it?”

And as Teversham was a teacher at the time, he and co-founder Chris Foster agreed to take on the challenge.

“We set out to establish a league that was first and foremost recreational, that was non-competitive, in that we didn’t keep score, and we just wanted kids to have the opportunity to kick around a soccer ball, down by the beach in their community,” he said.

“Over the course of time, we established sort of a foundation of recreation, of equality for all players of different skill levels, of having fun, and celebrating the community that we were in.”

With the help of Teversham, Foster, and the Beach community, the league flourished and an organization was formed with an executive board, administrative staff, and support from a group of about 250 volunteers who helped run the league.

“In this day and age, you cannot function without volunteers,” said Teversham. “We wanted to celebrate the community, and if a large part of the community is participating in it, they’re invested in it, and it works so much better.”

Teversham’s role with BCSL made an impact on the league and the community, but the community also made an impact on him.

“The people I work with, the volunteers who came back year after year, the kids who started off at the beginning, and worked their way through it, and maybe graduated to the referee program where they got involved,” that is what was special about the league, said Teversham.

The BCSL now runs eight age divisions, across four different soccer fields within the Beach, and holds a referee program for aspiring BCSL referees. This league has become a part of the community because of the local people who came together to bring it life.

“The thing that I’m most proud of is the league that left lasting good memories for most of its participants. It didn’t matter what the involvement was, player, coach, ref, ask them about their experience and they, more often than not, share a memory of good times. That’s pretty special,” said Teversham.


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