Soccer scholarship for Chilliwack star

Chilliwack FC

Thomas Davies has done something unprecedented in Chilliwack youth soccer history, netting a scholarship from the B.C. Soccer Association.

The 17-year-old Chilliwack secondary school student received the Pacific Coast Soccer League scholarship at the BCSA annual general meeting on Saturday, one of 11 given out this year.

Davies, who has played youth soccer for 11 years and refereed for five, submitted his application in March. A scholarship committee looked at the applications.

“I’m guessing what really helped with this was the refereeing because I officiate at a relatively high level in the province,” Davies explained. “I referee up to the university level and I do Premier Development League games, which is the same league the Vancouver Whitecap reserves play in. And I’ve done PCSL games for the last three years, which is probably why I got the PCSL scholarship.”

Young referees should take note. Chilliwack FC is constantly trying to find and retain new officials. Seeing Davies turn refereeing into a scholarship may provide youngsters with the motivation to tough it out in what can often be a difficult job with high attrition rates.

“Refereeing has always interested me more than playing and when I was eight or nine years old I was counting off the years until I could start to do it,” Davies said. “We’re all a little bit crazy in a way to be doing the job, but I’ve always wanted to do it. In my first year doing full-field refereeing I was very fortunate to work with a national official three times in the first month. He put me on the right track and from that I’ve really learned to enjoy it.”

Davies is the first to admit the job has its bad days, when coaches and players are offering ‘critiques’ at every turn. But it is the unseen side of refereeing that he wishes every young official could experience and embrace.

“The dressing room conversations, the camaraderie and the sharing of experiences is something that is so enjoyable,” he explained. “In some ways it’s similar to playing on a team, but it’s also really different because of the type of people who do it.”

As a player, Davies has played up to the U-18 gold level as a goalkeeper. His team is travelling to Penticton in early July to play in provincials.

Another factor for Davies was volunteer work and community involvement.

Originally from England, the teen moved to the Fraser Valley in 1998.

He has spent significant time working at Ruth and Naomi’s Mission and he’s pitched in with the Fraser Valley Watershed Coalition as well.

And while it may have little to do with soccer, Davies also feels his time spent with the CSS music department played a role in the scholarship committee’s decision.

“I’m in six performing ensembles, and we average 50 to 60 community performances per year,” he said. “Beyond that, I also volunteer with guest services at the new Chilliwack Cultural Centre.”

The scholarship is worth $1,200, equivalent to approximately half a semester’s tuition. In his first year he will study business at the University of the Fraser Valley, with the possibility of a future transfer to either Simon Fraser University or the University of British Columbia.

Davies may apply the money directly to tuition costs, or he may use it to offset expenses as he continues his referee training.

“I’ll be travelling to Burnaby twice a week (for referee training), so of course I’ve got mileage and gas and all that,” he said. “And there will be additional university expenses as well, so this money will be very useful.”

Get a full list of scholarship recipients at www.bcsoccer.net.

Just Posted

Chilliwack saw sub-tropical blast of warm air Wednesday

It didn’t break any official records but it was warmer than usual by several degrees

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

GW Graham wallops Ballenas Whalers in junior football playoff

Logan Buchwitz scored four touchdowns for the Grizzlies in a one-sided 40-0 win.

Junior football semi-final has GW Graham facing John Barsby Bulldogs

The Bulldogs beat Pitt Meadows Marauders 57-8 in quarterfinal action Wednesday in Nanaimo

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Friends describe murder victim as ‘most caring guy we knew’

Jagvir Malhi of Abbotsford was not involved in gangs or criminal activity, they say

John Horgan shrugs off low turnout, change to referendum option

‘No’ proportional representation group says voting should be extended

Two more government pot shops to open in Kamloops

Two private applications are also in the queue to come before city council by the end of the year

2 B.C. men charged after allegedly stealing $1,400 worth of butter

The two men, ages 23 and 25, are facing charges of theft under $5,000, Coquitlam police said

Invasive fire ants join the tourist swarms at Hawaii Volcano National Park

Invasive species found at popular tourist destination

Ten-year sentence for man convicted of B.C. belt-strangling death

Shayne McGenn guilty of manslaughter in 2016 death of David Delaney, 63

Most Read