In Canada, hockey is not the only valued sport. Every year young boys and girls enroll in mini soccer programs. Some of them fall in love with this international sport and keep on playing well into their teens. Those who are talented at soccer, plus have good academic standing and epitomize sportsmanship, have the chance to be awarded a soccer scholarship.

British Columbia

The British Columbia Soccer Association (BC Soccer) offers between three to 11 scholarships a year to Grade 12 students going on to university. Students who are in university but under the age of 19, as of January 1st of the year of application, may also apply. Applicants must have played for a team affiliated with the Association for at least 3 years. At the time of application, the candidate must also be either playing for a team, coaching a team or refereeing for BC Soccer. Other criteria include having a "B" grade average and being someone who displays leadership and community service skills. Applications are due on March 31st each year and must include a filled-in application form, a school transcript and three reference letters (from the school principal, from a soccer official of the applicant's regional league and from a personal source). The application must be approved by the candidate's league president or chairperson before being sent to BC Soccer.

British Columbia Soccer Association 375 Water St. Suite 510 Vancouver, BC V6B 5C6 604-299-6401 bcsoccer.net

Newfoundland

Every year the Mount Pearl Soccer Association in Newfoundland awards five scholarships valuing in either $100 or $350. Each award was established to commemorate past soccer players and members of the soccer community. For example, the Sam Pretty award is named after a man who played for the Holly Cross of St. John's senior league for twenty years in the 40s and 50s. He was inducted into the Newfoundland Sport Hall of Fame and is known as one of the province's best defenders of all time. Interested candidates can send in an application form to the Mount Pearl Soccer Association. They grant awards to both Level I (grade 10) students and high school graduates and consider applicants that have good academic standing and who have exhibited sportsmanship while playing for a team in Mount Pearl.

Mount Pearl Soccer Association P. O. Box 295 Mount Pearl, NL A1N 2C3 709-364-9793 mpsa.ca

Toronto, Ontario

A 13-year old member of the Toronto Lynx Premier Soccer Academy, Nathan Mesher, founded the Coach's Scholarship Award. As of 2010, a total of $5,000, donated from corporate sponsorships, was awarded to soccer players to go towards membership fees with the academy and transportation costs to soccer tournaments. The Toronto Lynx Academy awards the scholarships to players who show promise to go far in soccer. To play with the Toronto Lynx, a yearly fee is over $2,500, but it comes with many rewards. Players practice twice or three times a week all year and compete at national and international level tournaments. Teams range from Under 14 to Under 20 age groups. The Academy takes their oldest teams to showcase tournaments and over 100 of their players have been scouted by universities and awarded scholarships.

Toronto Lynx Premier Soccer Academy Duncan Wilde 14 Marine Drive Suite 2040 Oakville, Ontario L6L 1B4 admin@torontolynxpremiersoccer.com torontolynxpremiersoccer.com