Boise Nationals Soccer Club helps develop young soccer players from their first step onto the pitch to their first step onto a college campus. Formed exclusively for boys in 1986, the club has since merged with several girls' affiliates to create one of the state's most formidable coed soccer outfits. Today, 30 competitive teams play beneath its star-emblazoned logo.
The club's programs split player development into six categories, and its youth soccer league—formed in 2008—places pint-size dribblers under the guidance of professional coaches, who provide more in-depth instruction than the volunteer parents or scarecrows that supervise many other recreational sports teams. For players who blossom under the club's stewardship, college-placement programs are available to help hoist games to the next level.
At Fast Lane Indoor Kart Racing, low-riding Sodi go-karts, careen around the winding track at 40 miles per hour, powered by Honda GX270 and GX160 engines. These karts suspend drivers inches from the ground, which—according to staff—gives them the sensation of 80-mile-per-hour speeds without the hassle of putting a saddle on a cheetah. After a driving-and-safety briefing, riders don full-face helmets before starting the 10-minute race. Spectators can keep an eye on lap times on the electronic scoreboard and on monitors scattered throughout the facility, each measuring times to the thousandth of a second.
Prague-born Filip Vogelpohl kindled his passion for glass blowing within his Boise home garage. As his knack for flame-working increased, Vogelpohl left the garage and traveled the world, honing his craft under the tutelage of internationally renowned glass blowers. Now, Vogelpohl welcomes fledgling glass blowers into his studio for small group classes. He also invites spectators to watch the studio's artists as they shape molten glass and borosilicate into jewelry or vases, which then go up for sale in the gallery. On the first Thursday of every month, the furnaces keep firing until 9 p.m. during free glass-blowing demonstrations as a part of the First Thursday Art Walk.
The coaching staff at Idaho Select Basketball fertilizes athletic growth and fosters competitive spirit through year-round youth basketball camps, academies, and tournaments. The Blue Chip Basketball Combine day camp strengthens budding players' skills on the court and includes an educational off-court class on the basics of college recruitment. Biannual three-on-three indoor tournaments test teams' mettle, and shooting camps teach backboards not to quiver when pelted with basketballs.