“Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, kookaburra, laugh…”
Honestly, some days I think anything will give me an ear worm. Does anyone else remember the old “Zoom!” television series and that Australian round they used to sing? This time, though, at least it makes some sort of sense. Temperature-wise, this has been the warmest winter I can remember, and in looking at our events calendar, I thought, “How perfect for the Kookaburra Tournament!”
Hosted by the Sumter Soccer Club and sponsored by Outback Steakhouse, Sumter’s first major soccer tournament of 2012 will be held February 18 and 19, 2012. The 3rd Annual Kookaburra Challenge Cup will host boys and girls ages 9-14 at the Patriot Park Sportsplex. With six fields, mature Bermuda grass, covered spectator areas and a new canteen, if you’ve never been to Sumter County’s latest state-of-the-art sporting facility, this would be an excellent time to come and watch the sports action.
The 2011 tournament attracted more than 60 teams from the Carolinas and Georgia for a weekend of intense field action—up from 35 in 2010—and this year’s tournament should be even bigger. Play begins both mornings at 8:30, with the final winners being declared on Sunday afternoon.
Long the most popular sport in Europe and South America, “Association Football” keeps getting bigger in the US. Forget the “soccer mom” jokes; this is serious stuff, and makes a serious impact on our local tourism economy. It’s also a whole lot of fun to watch—during soccer season at my school, anyone who was looking knew where to find me, and I’m really not even a sports fan. (Of course, the fact that one of my best friends was a champion player, and that soccer was a major social event in the absence of a football team didn’t hurt, either.)
Patriot Park Sportsplex, located off Patriot Parkway near the intersection of Loring Mill Road, can be mapped at 3365 Patriot Parkway, Sumter, SC 29154 (GPS coordinates: 33.937129,-80.426402). For more information, please contact the Sumter Soccer Club at http://www.kookaburracup.com/contact.asp and follow the links. And then get out and root for the boys and girls, and find out why in the rest of the world, soccer is all the rage!