Summer is here and playgrounds around the country are filled with kids of all ages coming together to play soccer, one of the most popular sports in the world. In fact, in 2011 more than 700,000 Canadians under the age of 18 signed up for one of the many soccer leagues across the country.
This wave of popularity is also sweeping across Quebec. More than 200,000 soccer players make up the 300 teams in the province that play indoors or outdoors, and on either natural or synthetic fields. Played in almost every country, soccer, or “football” to our european neighbours, is the most-watched sport in the world.
The popularity of soccer can be explained not only by its accessibility and simplicity, but also by the many physical and mental health benefits it has for children. It improves cardiovascular health, increases physical endurance, tones muscles, ensures good bone health, and fine-tunes coordination through the complex movements needed at various speeds. It can also help develop important personal qualities such as teamwork, perseverance, fair-play and strength of character.
Register your kids for the 13th edition of the Danone Nations Cup!
Go to Danone Nations Cup to register your young soccer players for the chance to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime soccer experience. It’s an all-expense paid trip, courtesy of Danone, to an international tournament for 10 and 12 year-olds, which is the biggest youth tournament in the world for boys AND girls!
A few interesting facts about soccer :
• The first rules of soccer were created by the London Football Association in 1863.
• Soccer became an Olympic sport at the 1908 Games.
• Since 1952, Hungary has the won the most gold medals at the Olympic Games.
• The first World Cup took place in 1930.
• Edson Arantes do Nascimento, nicknamed Pelé, was born in Brazil and is considered by many to be the best player of all time.
• A soccer ball is 27 or 28 inches in circumference and is made of leather or rubber.