by Karen Elgersma | photo by Janis Jean Photography –
PACE FC is a non-profit that has been providing affordable, quality soccer training on the Peninsula since 2018. Adam Addlestone, one of the founders of PACE FC, started playing soccer when he was old enough to walk, and his passion for the sport keeps him involved as a coach, parent, player and advocate. Adam and co-founder Harj Nandhra hope this club will inspire more families – kids and adults – to experience the joy of the most popular sport in the world.
How does PACE FC offer families high quality soccer training that is accessible to anyone?
One of the beautiful things about soccer is that it’s a community-based sport that is accessible to everyone. At PACE, our goal is to bring back that community spirit and energy to players of all abilities here on the Peninsula, regardless of their circumstances.
PACE is an acronym – what does it stand for?
PACE stands for Passion, Attitude, Commitment and Energy. We try to empower all our players to adopt these qualities, not only in soccer but in all aspects of their lives to be successful.
The Saanich Peninsula has a soccer club; why did you believe a new club was important to our community?
We started PACE because we believe that we can provide an enriching soccer experience for players and deliver it in a way that is affordable for families.
What’s the experience been like setting up a new club?
We’ve seen tremendous support from the community with year-over-year growth in membership. One of the biggest challenges is not being allowed to compete in the Lower Island Soccer Association over fears that will draw players away from other clubs. We continue to advocate for our players to give them the same opportunity as players from other clubs. At the moment we remain a house league until we gain access into the Lower Island Soccer League.
Many kids and adults are intimidated by sports and they are often scared to play on a team, fearing they aren’t athletic enough. How does PACE FC approach those who are either scared, or worried about their ability to be successful?
We welcome people of all abilities to join PACE. With the right coaching, some of the most timid characters can turn out to be the strongest and most vocal, confident players. Our job is to help them develop their skills and not be afraid of failing. We also provide one-on-one sessions with kids that are anxious about joining a team setting.
We know that many sports can be very expensive, and families often can’t afford to enroll their children in these sports as a result. How has PACE FC impacted those who don’t have the resources to play soccer?
Some of the greatest players such as Messi, Ronaldo and Maradona come from very humble origins. Alphonso Davies started playing soccer in a Ghanaian refugee camp and now plays for Canada and won the Champions League with Bayern Munich this year. Soccer should be for everyone. Every child, no matter their circumstances, should have access to playing soccer. This is something we feel has been missing on the Peninsula. We offer no-questions-asked, zero-cost soccer to these families that are in need.
We have also seen the cost of soccer rise year after year; club fees can be very costly. That can be prohibitive for families with several kids and both parents playing. That is why our “at cost” pricing model appeals to so many families. We’re in it for the players’ development, not profits!
Many parents, especially single parents, simply don’t have the time to put in the volunteer hours required by local clubs or teams. How does PACE FC manage expectations around fundraising and volunteering?
Although we encourage volunteering, we do not mandate it, nor do we penalize you for not volunteering. We understand that life is busy and that your child’s participation in sports shouldn’t be a chore or a burden. Our club is 100% volunteer run with people that want to volunteer, not people that feel they have to.
People reading this may not have kids in sports but they care about children. What can PACE FC teach us all about the value of community and sport and this unique approach?
Sports is important for the whole family and has an important role in our community. Soccer should be accessible to everyone, as it is around the world. PACE FC is living evidence of what we can achieve by working as a community.
Why is soccer such an amazing sport for kids and adults?
Soccer is by far the best and most popular sport in the world. The 2018 World Cup final was watched by 1.2 BILLION people! By its nature, it is inherently accessible for everyone, something not lost on PACE FC.
Starting and running a new soccer club is a tremendous amount of work and takes enormous time and effort. Why are you so committed to creating opportunities for the community to participate in this game?
There are two goals that drive us forward at PACE. First, creating opportunities for people to play soccer who would otherwise be excluded. Second, providing genuinely high-quality coaching to people who want to learn.
What does the future hold for PACE FC?
We will continue to pursue our mission. Our next major objective is to develop an artificial turf field so that players can play year round, regardless of the weather. Currently about 20 to 25% of practices are cancelled due to unsafe field conditions. We envision this field serving the whole community, not just PACE FC.
If someone reads this and decides they just want to “try” this sport out – who should they contact?
We are always looking to grow the Wolfpack. If you would like to try it out or enroll your child into our current fall / winter season, please visit our website: https://www.pace-fc.com or email