Tag Archives: soccer

Islander not returning as Puma’s coach

John Wedge
John Wedge
The Kitsap Pumas professional soccer team announced this week it would not renew island resident John Wedge’s contract as head coach.

After helping to build the team from scratch, Wedge coached the Pumas through 13 wins and just two losses. The Pumas ended their first season in the Premier Development League late last month with a playoff loss.

Wedge, who served as director of the Bainbridge Island Soccer Academy, told Sun sports reporter Jeff Graham that the team’s owner, Robin Waite, was unhappy with the Puma’s 1-2 loss to eventual league champion Ventura County.

“(Waite) felt we had a team that should have done better,” Wedge said. “To me, those expectations are unrealistic.”

Pumas executive director Ben Pecora, also an island resident, declined to say why Wedge’s contract wasn’t renewed.

Players expressed surprise at Wedge’s departure but noted that practice sessions sometimes lacked a professional feel.

For more, read Graham’s story, here.

BI company can help you become an “ecofriendly soccer fan”

Source: Fair Trade Sports
Source: Fair Trade Sports

The soccer website Goal.com included Bainbridge Island’s Fair Trade Sports in its guide “How To Be An Ecofriendly Soccer Fan.”

Goal’s first step: “Use a friendlier ball.”

“Based in Bainbridge Island, Washington, Fair Trade Sports was the first company to start selling certified fair trade soccer balls in the United States.

…The balls come with the word RESPECT printed on them and are decent quality, too. They’re not hand-stitched leather Aztecas, circa 1986, but their synthetic leather exterior makes it good enough for banging around in the park on Sundays.”

The balls are also union-made, eco-certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and free of animal products.

I wrote a story about Fair Trade Sports back in the day. Read it (again) here.

City money will help pay for artificial turf fields

Despite passionate opposition from environmentalists, legal threats and the city’s financial troubles, the City Council on Wednesday voted to contribute more than a quarter of a million dollars to the construction of artificial turf fields at Battle Point Park.

“When you vote for this, you can’t get rid of it or cover it up. You can’t get rid of it because it’s plastic,” said artificial turf opponent Chris Van Dyk. “It’s environmentally irresponsible.”

With only Council Chairman Bill Knobloch voting against the spending proposal, the council approved handing $300,000 to the Bainbridge park district to replace two existing soccer fields. The park district plans to install artificial turf on what is now largely hard-packed sand, improving the field’s playing conditions and reducing the amount of maintenance a natural grass field would otherwise require.

“This is a very difficult question,” said Councilman Barry Peters, noting environmental concerns and recent city revenue shortfalls that have led to service and project cuts. But the council “made a promise to these folks that want this field. It may be passionately opposed by some, but it’s passionately supported by many.”

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The world’s first green, fair trade, vegan soccer ball is from B.I.

There’s nothing about Scott James’ soccer ball that improves its chances of reaching the back of the net.

It’s a simple, sturdy ball comparable in quality to ones stamped with swooshes and pumas.

But the ball was built to outscore the big brands in the areas that matter most to James and his Bainbridge Island-based Fair Trade Sports company.

“For me, it’s about the planet, people and community,” he said. “If I’m going to sell something, it’s got to be about more than profit.”

The two-year old company is the first American fair-trade-certified manufacturer of sports balls, and the first in the world to earn an earth-friendly certification.

The inner-bladder of Fair Trade Sports balls are made from rubber harvested in India and Sri Lanka using practices approved by the Forest Stewardship Council. The outer shell is bound with animal-free adhesives and hand-stitched in Pakistan by union workers who enjoy health benefits and livable wages.

Every inch of a Fair Trade Sports ball is built in accordance with James’ values.

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