Some of the real heroes of the beautiful game stick to the sidelines, and two of those stars in the Ladysmith area were recognized recently by BC Soccer.
Mid Island Soccer Club President Willow Hartig was handed the Award of Merit for her support of the game for more than 10 years; and Technical Director Bill Merriman was named Coach of the Year.
BC Soccer Director Don Moslin said the two have made a difference in the game here.
“We’re all aware of the work that Willow has done for the Mid-Isle Soccer Club,” he said.
“It’s outstanding, we really look for individuals who have contributed a lot to their clubs and communities.”
Hartig’s efforts have been instrumental in getting a turf field in Ladysmith, he said. She has also been a leader during a period where Mid-Isle has developed programs and built an organization that brings together 200 plus players, coaches and parents.
“She really has developed and built that club over the years,” Moslin said.
Merriman has helped players and teams develop over a period that spans more than 25 years.
“Bill has been a very long-time coach and a technical lead person in the region for a very long time,” Moslin said.
As well as being Mid-Isle’s Technical Director, he’s run an academy in Nanaimo and been a coach at Vancouver Island University and with the Vancouver Island Premier League.
“He’s got a vast experience, vast certification, and he’s well deserving of the award,” Moslin said.