The Ball That Was At the Beginning of It All

When we were doing some Spring cleaning, we came across a ball that was rather small and dirty, and we decided to display it in our glass case among some other balls we came across. At the time we did not know the story behind this ball, and it was not until our CEO Terry Fisher asked Karl Grosch, WA Youth Soccer Life Member, that we discovered the intertwining history of WA Youth Soccer and this ball. Here is the story as told by Karl Grosch.

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In 1961, a man from North Vancouver BC, named Jack Goldingay, came to the Greater Seattle area (Bellevue), and quietly announced his plan to sign up 8 and 9 year old boys in order to form teams with inexperienced parents as coaches and referees.

Goldingay formed four teams that year in Bellevue, which really was the beginning of what later became the Washington Junior Soccer Association (now Washington Youth Soccer).

This ball had been used during the years of 1961 through 1962 by two 9 year old boys teams from the Eastside (Bellevue area), as coached by Jack Goldingay.

Being from North Vancouver BC, Goldingay took his Washington team back to his home area and a North Vancouver team returned the compliment with each team’s parents hosting the visiting boys.  This was the beginning of the great “Canadian Exchange Program”, which eventually became the largest team sports exchange in the world.

In 1986, Jack Goldingay became a WSYSA Life Member and in 1999 became a Hall of Fame Member.

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And throughout the years the ball has remained in the office as a symbol of where we come from and the man who helped start it all.

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