Winter is cause for many of the island’s athletes to pack it in for the season.
Crew teams get out of the water and start their training on rowing machines indoors after pushing across the finish lines of the last regattas of the season. The island’s football team hangs up their jerseys and the tennis team puts away their rackets. But even as the cold descends upon the Pacific Northwest once more, on Vashon there are plenty of ways to stay active in recreational and team sports.
For the island’s youth, registration is set to begin for the Vashon Park District’s instructor-led two-day winter break and mid-winter break skate camps at the Burton Adventure Recreation Center (BARC) for ages seven to 12, designed for beginners to acquaint themselves with skateboards and work their way up from techniques for riding on flat surfaces to ramps.
“Our goal is that we really want to get kids moving, and everybody who has taken this class has been super excited about it,” said Recreation Manager Eric Wyatt, who added that skate camps offered last summer exceeded the district’s expectations. Participation was slow at first and then kept building.
Children who don’t have helmets will be able to borrow accessories for free.
“Safety is our first issue. We’d rather have kids be safe than have an injury,” Wyatt said.
The indoor skate facility is not heated, though space heaters will be on-hand for kids to warm up.
The district is also working to enhance BARC’s Frisbee golf course, making golf disks available to check out for free. The park is staffed from 4 to 7 p.m. on Fridays and noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, visit the park district’s website at tinyurl.com/wvnwa7f.
Meanwhile, the Vashon Island Soccer Club has something for everyone. The club is offering a six-week coed futsal league played in the Chautauqua, McMurray and Vashon High School gyms Sunday afternoons starting on Jan. 5.
For those unfamiliar with the game, futsal is played indoors with a small, low bounce ball on a course with out-of-bounds lines. Teams consist of six players who will rotate in every one to two minutes, subbing in on-the-fly. If a team gets down by four goals, another player can be added to the floor. Three different players on the same team must touch the ball on each possession before a goal can be scored.
“The goal of this league is to give on-island opportunities for our community wanting to improve their touch on the ball in a fun venue,” said Development Coordinator John Thomas in an email.
Last year, some 260 people participated in the season before it ended in February. That session was modeled after the World Cup. The theme this year is “island nations,” and players will get a t-shirt to keep.
There is still time to register for the Winter Futsal Island Nations Cup, but hurry — sign-ups close on Dec. 1. Leagues range from kindergarten programs to adult co-ed and competitive.
For more information, visit online at vashonsoccer.org.
Elsewhere, the Vashon Rockbusters Youth Wrestling team, an organized group of co-ed wrestlers for ages 5 to 12, might be a great fit for kids with cabin fever.
“We’ll work on that energy. We do a lot of great things up in the wrestling room,” said coach Per-Lars Blomgren, adding that wrestling appeals to kids with all sorts of interests and skills, including those with poor self-confidence and behavioral challenges. “We do hear from teachers and family members because of the sport, that it makes a difference.”
The team practices on Monday and Wednesday nights, with meets and competitions interspersed throughout the season. The team is near capacity with 60 wrestlers now signed up, but Blomgren said he is available by email for more information about registering at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, the Vashon Seals swim team will dive into their winter training once the fall season has dried up. The Seals Swim Club, for ages five to nine, is full for the fall, but registration for the Swim Fit program for middle and high school students is open online at vashonseals.org.
For regular hours at the Vashon Community Pool, including lap swimming, aerobics, family lap swimming times and more, visit vashonparks.org/vashon-pool online.