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Glenwood soccer a family tradition

Post Independent Photo/Jim Noelker Moms and dads from all over the state came to CMC's Gates Soccer Park in Spring Valley to watch the Glenwood Springs Invitational soccer tournament. A Glenwood Ice player throws in the ball during play against the St. Vrain Express.
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BY Christine Dell’Amore

Post Independent Staff



Janusz Obst recalls playing soccer in his native Poland on streets, in hallways – anywhere and everywhere there was free space.

But Saturday, the Glenwood Springs resident watched his son, Adam Sadowski, play the international sport on rain-soaked fields at the 2004 Glenwood Springs Invitational Tournament.



“We’ve had soccer for a few hundred years in Europe – it’s a religion over there,” Obst said. “It’s now getting better in the U.S.”

Adam, 12, has participated in the tournament for three years in a row, maybe more, said his mother, Margaret Sadowska (Her name has the feminine ending, “a.”).

soccer: see page 2

soccer: from page 1

Huddled in a blanket as cold winds and rain whipped across the fields of Gates Soccer Park in Spring Valley, Sadowska and dozens of other parents cheered on their children.

“Soccer’s not boring. You have to think more about it, rather than just hitting the ball,” said Adam, a Glenwood Ice team member, as he practiced passing the ball to teammates before his 1 p.m. game.

Nearby, the Riggins family prepared for a full day of competition with their three sons, all soccer players in the tournament. Twins Carl and Scott, in the U-12 category, have been playing since kindergarten.

“They’ve tried other sports, but they always come back to soccer,” said their mother Julie Riggins.

Craig Riggins, a U-14 center-striker for the Basalt Rapids, will go to Brazil this summer for a taste of soccer abroad. Craig and four other players from the valley will visit South America through a program sponsored by the Brusa International Soccer Institute.

“They’re known for being really great players,” Craig said of Brazilian soccer teams.

Closer to home, the sixth-annual invitational will provide an economic boost to Glenwood Springs.

A recent economic development survey by the city found that an overnight visitor spends an average of $50 on retail, not including hotels and restaurants, said Marianne Virgili, CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.

“Any time these touring events bring people into the community, it’s significant,” Virgili said. “It’s critical because it kicks off our summer to a good start.”

As the flags of seven countries waved on the sidelines, Obst said that in Poland, soccer is the national pastime. But Sadowska added that she enjoys the sport not only for its rich history, but the values it teaches to young adults.

“We don’t look at it as a workout,” she said. “It’s part of a necessary thing to play (soccer), to win and to lose and get that experience in life.”

Contact Christine Dell’Amore: 945-8515, ext. 535

cdellamore@postindependent.com

by the numbers

Years the Glenwood Springs Invitational has taken place: 6

Teams that participated: 40

Teams from Glenwood Springs: 4

Fields played on: 5

Total number of games played on Saturday and Sunday: 70


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