Carlos Amaral (front right) with his wife Maria by his side accepted his BC Soccer Award of Merit from (back row, left to right, referee development officer for BC Soccer for the Kootenay region Sidney Composton, Roger Carlson and BC Soccer board of directors member Chuck Bennett. (Betsy Kline/Castlegar News)

Castlegar soccer volunteer recognized for many years of service

Carlos Amaral has been involved in Castlegar soccer for more than 40 years.

A long-time staple in the local soccer scene was recognized for his contributions at a ceremony Friday night.

Carlos Amaral has been involved in Castlegar soccer for over 40 years in many capacities including minor soccer and adult soccer, president of the West Kootenay Men’s League, head referee and organizing tournaments.

It was for his work as a referee that provoked Sidney Composton, referee development officer for BC Soccer for the Kootenay region, to nominate him for the BC Soccer Award of Merit.

BC Soccer granted 10 Awards of Merit this year, which are presented to individuals in recognition of contributions to soccer during a period of ten or more years, as a player, manager, coach, official, or administrator.

An award ceremony was held in Vancouver in June, but Amaral was unable to attend, so local organizers decided to plan a ceremony here to recognize his contributions.

“He deserves it,” said Composton. “Everybody has had fun with him over the years, I just want to make sure he gets recognized for his efforts as a volunteer.”

“As a friend and as the referee development officer for the region, I want to thank you for your years of service,” said Composton to Amaral at the presentation.

Roger Carlson added, “Mr Amaral was instrumental in soccer since I was a wee little kid. You can’t measure how valuable he has been to soccer locally.”

Amaral thanked those that nominated him and BC Soccer and expressed his gratefulness to his wife Maria for all of the help and support she gave him over the years.

The Castlegar Minor Soccer Association and Kootenay South Youth Soccer Association organized the presentation.