Celebrating diversity with soccer

Local News

The Eau Claire Parks and Recreation hosted the second annual Eau Claire World Soccer Exhibition on Thursday.

Julie Booth of Eau Claire Parks and Recreation, says what makes the event great, is its passionate participants.

“We’ve got a great group that is passionate about soccer,” Booth said. “They call it the world soccer for the Chippewa Valley. There are a lot of diverse groups that play out at our soccer park and we want to come together every July 4th just to have a fun gathering of people.”

Booth says the event promotes and celebrates diversity in the Chippewa Valley.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “The Chippewa Valley has so many diverse cultures and soccer is one of those worldwide sports that can bring people together and great fun passionate competition.”

Organizers say the event varies in participation, but everyone who shows up has fun.

“We have anywhere between 20-22 people, last year we had 40,” booth said. “So this is our second year playing and we try to grab people from different cultures and try to get some of the premiere players that participate not only in our league, but also some of the other traveling leagues in the area.”

In the second year of the program, Booth says not much has changed, due to the enthusiastic participants.

“The weather is absolutely gorgeous for July fourth in the Eau Claire area,” she said. “So we didn’t really change much in the program, we just invite anyone to come from all of the different ethnic groups from the area.”

Booth says community events like this are important as soccer is an inclusive sport for everyone.

“In soccer in Eau Claire, our programs start from three years old and our oldest guy that’s playing with our adult league is nearly 62. Soccer is for all ages, all socioeconomic areas, and all cultures.”

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