YOUTH SOCCER: Local soccer leader sees need for indoor facility
Julie Vorachek spent Friday outside watching the Greater Grand Forks Soccer tournament, but she believes the key to growing the local soccer scene takes place indoors. Vorachek, director of the Greater Grand Forks Soccer Club, thinks Grand Forks ...
Julie Vorachek spent Friday outside watching the Greater Grand Forks Soccer tournament, but she believes the key to growing the local soccer scene takes place indoors.
Vorachek, director of the Greater Grand Forks Soccer Club, thinks Grand Forks would benefit greatly from the addition of an indoor sports bubble.
She says that a bubble could not only benefit the GGFSC, which is made up of more than 250 athletes ranging in ages from 5 to 18, but other sports such as baseball, softball and track.
Some may ask why this would benefit a city like Grand Forks, which is known more as a hockey town.
“We struggle yearly to find space to play soccer in the fall and winter months,” Vorachek said. “Fargo has two indoor spaces to play soccer and are currently building a third. Minot and Bismarck both have one.
“They (Grand Forks athletes) play four months over the summer and can compete against other teams of the largest cities in North Dakota.”
The Greater Grand Forks Soccer Club currently has three programs for local soccer players to participate in - the competitive summer traveling program, a recreational program (which stays in town) and a winter indoor program.
And the winter indoor program is struggling to find space to play.
“The program has to be formed around gym time,” Vorachek said.
Gym time is in high demand when the volleyball or basketball season comes around.
Vorachek said a bubble would not only make it easier for the soccer club during the fall and winter months, it would benefit athletes that play other outdoor sports, as well.
“I think it would be a great idea to have a sports bubble that we could share with other sports like baseball or softball. I think it’s important to give these kids the opportunity to play the sports they want to.
“We have athletes that want to go on and play soccer in college,” Vorachek added. “For these children who want these opportunities, they need to be able to play year around. We have great coaches, we just need the space to give these kids the opportunity to play.”
But what would something like this cost?
“If we wanted to do a soccer bubble it would cost less,” Vorachek said. “It would vary if we used it for multiple sports. I think it would be a couple million up to seven million dollars. It all depends what the scheme would be.”
Building a sports bubble that could host soccer tournaments, possibly baseball and softball and maybe even track meets would need a lot of support - something Vorachek said she has been working on.
“Right now I’m reaching out and trying to find sponsors,” she said. “I am also looking at doing a grant with various soccer associations… I think it’s important to give athletes the chance to do their sports and increase their skills in town.”
According to Vorachek, membership of the greater Grand Forks Soccer Club is growing “exponentially.”
So, if the need is there, is the goal of building an indoor sports bubble in Grand Forks a realistic one?
“Very much so,” Vorachek said. “We just need to get the word out so that people are aware of it, and we need to get the money.”