It wouldn’t be an incredible stretch of fancy to say that 13-year-old Nick Harder lives up to his name.
“He gives 110 per cent; we sometimes have to slow him down,” says Christine Harder, Nick’s mom. “He’s very encouraging on the team, and he’s a hard worker.”
Nick is a member of the Mid-Isle Soccer Club’s new rep Highlanders league in the U13 category and is enthusiastic about the step up from house league.
“The other players want to be there because they have to try out to be on the team,” he said. “And they know what to do.”
The mid-left fielder said he is also excited about the potential opportunity to be on a team that could play on a national level. The team will soon be traveling to play in Seattle and Vancouver, and a trip is in the works for Vegas in 2013.
“I’m excited,” Nick said.
Nick’s favorite school subject, fittingly, is physical education. He plays as many school sports as he can, in addition to playing with the Highlanders three times a week.
Nick, a former Ladysmith Steelers quarterback, has played football for the last three years but had to give it up in the juggle between extracurricular sports and school activities.
“The last year was a little overwhelming because I went into a higher age division and the [players] got a lot bigger, but it was still a lot of fun,” he said.
“Coach B was a really good coach. All the players wanted to please him most of the time, no matter how hard he’d push.”
The biggest lesson he said he has learned from being a Ladysmith Steeler is to never give up. It’s an attitude he has kept up on the field with the Highlanders.
“Even when we’re not winning, we’re still having fun,” he said.
Nick has been playing soccer since he was three years old and has hopes that playing the sport will open doors for travelling opportunities to Europe in the future.
“I’ve been playing so long that I grew to love it so much … I just found I was better at that than the other sports I’ve tried,” he said.