The New Minas Invitational soccer tournament was a Valley summer staple for more than 25 years before it was discontinued in 2011, bringing in more than 150 teams from the Maritimes and beyond each August.
Valley District Soccer Association is planning to resurrect the idea of an August tourney.
The VDSA announced Feb. 27 that it would host a tournament Aug. 15 to 17 this year, called the Valley Classic Invitational, and the association intends for it to become an annual event.
“It’s time to put this area back on the map again as the soccer capital of Atlantic Canada. The excitement is certainly there to make it happen,” VDSA executive director Dwight MacLeod said.
“We can see upwards of 150 teams willing to come here for the weekend, using fields from Hantsport to Somerset,” he added. “We see close to 10,000 people, including players, coaches and officials, in the area for a three-day event.”
The VDSA has run the mini portion of the former New Minas Invitational the past two summers, under the direction of its technical department, but will now bring back up to Under-18 teams.
One of the reasons for the demise of the New Minas Invitational was that its core of volunteers had become burned out.
MacLeod acknowledged the issue and said, “we will be looking to the corporate community to help in making this a reality.”
Over the next few weeks, the VDSA would be looking deeper into the possibility of corporate support.
“Without the support of the business community, this tournament will not happen,” he said.