He’s one of the fathers of organized soccer in Prince George. For his contributions to the sport during a span of five decades, Hans Niedermayer is a deserving inductee into the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame in the builder/administrator category.
Niedermayer, often called the Godfather of Soccer in Prince George, started playing in a four-team men’s league in 1956. The throw-together league held its games at Connaught Field, which was basically no more than a gravel pit. The differing ethnic backgrounds of the players sometimes turned game nights into brawls. The league was seen as unstable, and Niedermayer and a group of others set out to make a change.
In 1960, Niedermayer was a founding member of the North Cariboo Senior Soccer League, an organization that is still going strong today. At various times, he served as president, vice president and a member of the board of directors. He was also a driving force behind the development of the original Rotary Fields and oversaw the construction of a clubhouse (1974-75) and grandstands (1978).
Niedermayer didn’t just focus his attention on the NCSSL. He initiated the Northern B.C. Soccer League, which featured teams from Prince George, Smithers, Terrace, Kitimat and Prince Rupert, and ran successfully from 1980 to 1982. Also in 1982, he helped start the P.G. Recreational Soccer League, for older players who didn’t want to play competitively. Over the years, Niedermayer also organized and coached women’s soccer in the city.
To keep soccer kicking year-round in Prince George, Niedermayer helped get the city’s first indoor league off the ground in the late 1970s. This loop eventually transformed into the B.C. Indoor Soccer League, which presently has more than 50 men’s and women’s teams. With the BCISL, he held several executive positions, including vice president.
Niedermayer knew the importance of having youngsters involved in the game. For more than 25 years, he served as a coach in the Prince George Youth Soccer Association.
On the provincial scene, Niedermayer was a “soccer voice” for the north for 25 years and helped bring a variety of semi-professional and professional teams to the city for exhibition games against local clubs.
For his work, all on a volunteer basis, Niedermayer has received the NCSSL Award of Merit, the BCISL Award of Merit, the BCISL Life Membership Award, the B.C. Soccer Association Award of Merit and the City of Prince George Recreational Award of Merit.
Now, we welcome him to his rightful place in the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame.