SBD/4/Sports Society

KICKING AROUND A NEW NATIONAL PASTIME IN CANADA?

          The Canadian Soccer Association had 585,785 registered
     players in competitive leagues in '97, while hockey recorded
     535,737, according to Norman Da Costa of the TORONTO STAR. 
     Canadian Hockey Assn. President Bob MacKinnon: "It bothers
     me that we are not No. 1."  Da Costa reports that Canadian
     demographics "are changing annually with the European, Asian
     and Caribbean newcomers still interested in soccer, which is
     by far the most popular sport everywhere but North America." 
     Of the 585,785 registered soccer players, 203,628 (35%) are
     female and 182,756 of those players are under the age of 19,
     down to elementary school players (TORONTO STAR, 3/4).

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