LAHAINA - West Maui AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) will kick off its 2013 season with registration for interested children ages 4-13 on May 4, 7 and 11 in the Princess Nahi'ena'ena Elementary School cafeteria.
Representatives of West Maui AYSO will be on-hand from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the two Saturday dates (May 4 and 11), and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, to get the kids signed up.
Early registration is $75, a $10 discount. New players will need to bring a birth certificate.
More than 300 children are expected to play West Maui AYSO soccer this season.
With the national AYSO mission statement philosophy based upon the six tenets of everyone plays, good sportsmanship, balanced teams, positive coaching, open registration and player development at its core, West Maui AYSO continues to thrive as one of the most popular youth sports programs on the West Side.
West Maui AYSO Regional Commissioner Annie Hayes, now into her 14th year with the program and fourth at the helm, reported that the organization is ready to roll out the balls and get an anticipated 300-plus kids out onto the fields to participate in the global popularity of soccer.
Commissioner Hayes leads a veteran board of directors made up of Registrar Annabehl Sinclair Delaney, Treasurer Marilyn Ueno, Secretary Nicole Okada, Child Volunteer Protection Advocate Holly Pendergast, Coach Administrator James Hayes, Director of Instruction Sky Delaney and Referee Administrator Anthony Griffith for the 2013 season.
"We're still looking for more committed volunteers, particularly a safety director and field monitors," added Annie.
All adult volunteers go through background checks, and all referees and coaches receive training. Hayes herself attended a Section 7 - which includes Hawaii and several other western states - conference in Honolulu recently to meet with national AYSO representatives.
"We have a good relationship with the national reps, and we were able to discuss several important issues, including background checks and dealing with the growing Latino involvement in AYSO," she explained.
After signups, practice is slated to begin in August. Games will be played in September and through to Nov. 6 at the Lahaina Recreation Center fields and at Napili Park.
An AYSO Soccer Camp is set for July 15-19 that will feature four United Kingdom collegiate players. For information, go to www.westmauiayso.com or call 669-6883.
Hayes expressed her gratitude to West Maui AYSO sponsors this year, including Kona Ice, Hawaii Tug and Barge, Young Brothers, Jim Falk Motors of Maui and Westside Glass.
"We were able to get a community grant with Hawaiian Tug and Barge and Young Brothers for new U14 goals, but we're still about $2,000 short of our goal. We'd really like to replace those goals, so we need more help," she concluded.