The Rodney Otamatea Soccer Association (ROSA) is going from strength to strength despite its independent status, with approximately 250 players and 30 teams in its junior football competition.
Secretary Rachel Rewi says this season the association held a vote and decided to switch the format for the 14th grade to seven players a side, instead of the usual 10.
“It’s been a challenge for them, having to move around the field more and be more accurate with their passes, but it has been really cool to watch them step up.”
The popularity of peewee soccer on Saturday mornings, run by the Wellsford club for two to three-year-olds, is now well established and into its fourth year.
Rewi says that the continued feedback from parents is that ROSA’s independent status is the source of its appeal, with games always played locally in Port Albert.
“It means that parents with multiple children playing on a single day don’t have to miss one of their kids’ games.”
She says subscription costs are also kept low at a maximum of $70 for the first child.
“In the last two years, we have only had perhaps 30 new kids and that’s because families don’t leave.
Three quarters of the kids start in sixth grade, move up right the way through, and we keep the same teams together.”