Kathy Biro says she’s soccer crazy. “When you hear that somebody can’t play (soccer) for whatever reason you just have to step up and give back to the sport.” Biro, who was born in Alberta and recently moved to Lake Cowichan, took over coaching the Lake Cowichan Lakers girl’s soccer team because she saw a need left by the recent BCTF job action.
Biro has coached soccer for the last 12 years and has played the sport for 35. She heard about the need for a coach through a Grade 12 student who works with her at Country Grocer. “She just happened to mention how disappointed she was going to be that there’s no soccer this year. She told me the story and I said, well I’ll do it.”
Biro believes that the girls will be playing mostly private school teams because other public schools are facing the same issue of not having a coach. They will have played their first game on Monday, April 23, against Duncan Christian School at the Cowichan Sportsplex near Quamichan Middle School on Chesterfield St. in Duncan. Tuesday they faced Queen Margaret’s girls on the field off Brownsey Street, also in Duncan. Both games began at about 3:15 or 3:30 p.m.
The team is composed of girls from Grade 10 through 12, and out of the 14 players that are on the team, there are varying skill levels. “There’s a couple of girls who give me a good run at practice,” she says. “Which is fantastic. I love that. And then we have new girls as well which is fine. That’s the great thing about soccer, everybody can fit in.” There are also a few guys who have been coming out to the practices, “Which is also fantastic, because if the girls aren’t afraid to tackle the boys they’re certainly not going to be afraid to tackle another girl. So I rate co-ed soccer very highly. It’s very beneficial in my opinion.”
Biro says that playing on the team is flexible and that many of the students have jobs or sometimes can’t play because they are trying to keep up with their studies. “Barring any work or school issues, they’re there every practice with smiles on their faces. I think they’re just thrilled that they actually can play.”
Biro encourages parents and other community members to come out to practices and games as long as they are encouraging, cheer the girls on, and keep everything positive. “My very first practice I’ve never had so many parents watching me in all of my life.” However, she does warn that “if your sitting around the field watching you’d better be prepared to come on the field because this is not a spectator sport.” She says it is just great to see people come out and and be willing to sit for an hour and a half through the unpredictable west coast weather.