The Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority announced plans for a new co-ed children's soccer league Tuesday intended to teach youngsters between the ages of 4 and 10 the fundamentals of the game.

In a press release, a PARA spokeswoman said the organization will partner with the Tuscaloosa United Soccer Club to create the West End Soccer Strong, which will officially kick off in September.

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The new league will practice or play twice a week at the recently renovated McDonald Hughes Community Center sports fields on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

“We are excited to expand youth athletics in our community, especially to our west Tuscaloosa community, and soccer is our next non-traditional sport that will expose our children to a global sport and give an avenue to future opportunities in local sports,” said Jay Logan, PARA's Director of Community Outreach and Youth Athletics.

Barry Spitzer, the executive director of the Tuscaloosa United Soccer Club, will serve as head coach of the new children's league.

“Soccer is one of the most popular team sports of all PARA youth programs and worldwide," Spitzer said. "The WESS league offers young and new players ages 4-10 years old an opportunity to learn the game and grow with the sport."

PARA suggests a $25 fee for each child enrolled in the program, but stressed that no child will be turned away from joining WESS.

Click here for more information on the program or to register now. 

Spitzer said the new league is also seeking volunteer coaches who will teach these young people the basics of the world's game, good sportsmanship, teamwork and more. Click here to learn more about that opportunity and to sign up to coach today.

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