Robert and Henry Soboleski play soccer almost year-round when it comes to practices, training, and games. So, when their spring season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic and they didn’t know what summer and fall would be like, it was understandably difficult.
“When that weekly routine and structure was taken away my wife and I could see the effect it had on them both physically and mentally,” said Toby Soboleski, father of the 11- and 9-year-old as well as Franklin, 5. “They missed seeing their friends and competing in games. They are too big to kick the ball around my house without breaking something, so hopefully we will be back to life as it used to be soon.”
The Soboleski’s and several other Novi families did get a reprieve in the fall as leagues and clinics kicked off
with mask requirements and other COVID-19 protocols in place. For the Soboleski family, it was much needed.
They also had a great deal of praise for the Novi Parks team that “did a great job communicating all of
the COVID-19 policies to participants and providing coaches with ideas for practice drills, while still maintaining
the social distancing needed at the time,” said Toby.
Daniel Tacker, whose son Luke and daughter Phoebe both played in the fall, echoed the sentiment of the Soboleski’s. He said it was “very important for the kids to get out and do something after the long confinement,” and appreciated how practices and games were structured. “Considering the circumstances, I don’t think there was more that could have been done,” Daniel said. “It really came down to the parents and they were all on board with doing whatever was needed to make sure the kids could keep practicing and playing.”
It appears Novi Parks spring soccer will kick off as planned. Registration is currently open for Tiny Tikes and Recreational Thunder leagues until Feb. 25.
Jorge Vivas, whose 11-year-old daughter Fabi has been playing in Novi since 2015, cannot wait for spring and getting back on the sideline with his team. While he enjoys the sport of soccer, he truly appreciates the family aspect cultivated by the Novi Parks Soccer Club.
“Meeting members of the community and making friends there is so valuable,” he said. “I believe cities are the next frontiers when it comes to building a strong society and a better world, so why not start creating that strong bond with the people who live close to you.”
Cost for residents to play in the Thunder coed U5-U6 is just $99 (5 games), while coed U7-U8 is $129 (7 games), and boys and girls U9-U19 is $169 (8 games).
Tacker said the “biggest benefit” for his family is the reasonable cost. “With many high-level clubs in the
area charging several thousand dollars, playing at a high level for significantly less is huge.”
To learn more about the Novi Parks Soccer Club and to register, visit cityofnovi.org/soccer
or call 248.347.0400.
SIGN UP FOR SUMMER CAMP
Two Summer Camp offerings will once again be open to Novi residents with the return of Camp Lakeshore and Camp PowerPlay. Registration opens March 1. Only 30 campers will be registered at each site per day and will increase from waitlists as guidelines allow.
Brittney and David DeFrain’s two sons Brody, 8, and Tyler, 7, participated in summer camp for the first time last year.
They raved about the experience and will be coming back this summer.
“It was very important,” David said. “We feel that the exercise and social interaction aspects offered by summer camp are essential for child development and allowed them to enjoy their summer much more than they would have at home on their tablets.”
Both camps start the week of June 14 and end the week of Aug. 16, running from 7am-6pm Monday-Friday. Full camp activities take place between 9am-4pm, and participants must bring a lunch and drink each day. Cost for each week of camp is $175 for residents.