Bedford Euless Soccer Association (BESA) celebrated its 45th year in existence with a birthday party, which featured an obstacle course, bounce house, cup cakes, tattoos and of course, plenty of soccer. The event took place Saturday, Oct. 19 at The Parks at Texas Star in Euless, Texas.
“One of our board members brought up the fact that our 45th anniversary was coming up, so we decided throwing a birthday party would be great opportunity for the kids,” said Jenny Sweeney, who handles Public Relations for the BESA Board of Directors. “So we got some signs and ordered some cupcakes. It was nice to see the families having fun.”
BESA usually has an event in the spring called Soccer Fest, which gives teams in the younger age groups a tournament atmosphere, while still in a fun soccer environment. Due to the high amount of rain, the event was unable to be held. As a result, the 45th birthday party represented the opportunity to provide a similar service to its members.
“We are fortunate to have a Board that really is a good group of people. We are at an interesting place with some people who have been here a long time and others who are new and bringing in fresh ideas,” Sweeney said. “I don’t think people realize how much work it takes for an association of this size to put on an event like this. It takes a lot of effort to get everything set up, to man the stations and everything else.”
Case and point, five minutes into a conversation Sweeney is asked about the number and size of players that are allowed inside the bounce house. Sweeney mentions a lot of board members have helped out, but everyone also has soccer commitments. A lot of board members are coaches and/or team managers as games go on from the early morning to past 5 pm.
One of the longest tenured board members, who started out as one of those team managers, is current First Vice President (A&D), Karen Owens. Owens first began on the Board in May of 1992 and has held various positions including: Commissioner, Public Relations, and Second Vice President (Director of Coaches).
“I’ve been around along time,” Owens said with a smile. “My nieces and nephews started playing with BESA, and then my son got old enough to play. So he joined, and I became the team manager. The next season I was on the Board.”
When asked why she continues to serve on the Board, Owens is quick to mention that it is all about providing a good experience for the kids and to make sure everyone else is out here for the kids, and not any other reason. Examples of this include BESA being one of the most economical leagues in the area, and in certain cases coaches will help out financially for a player. Like Sweeney, Owens is quick to compliment the Board on its hard work and thinking outside of the box.
“Soccer is a wonderful sport, and we want to encourage as many kids as possible to place soccer. I just love it,” Owens said. “With it being recreational soccer, having fun is critical to having players come back. I think an event like this shows soccer is a fun sport, and there is a fun side to everything.”