On Sun., Jan. 27 Desiree Scott, a 25-year-old Winnipeg soccer player was named Manitoba’s Female athlete of the year for 2012 at an awards dinner hosted by the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association in Winnipeg.
Scott was recognized for her key role in Canada’s Women’s national team, winning a bronze medal in Women’s Football at the London 2012 Olympics. Checkout Bonivitals Soccer Club website for a link to more details.
I stumbled across this team picture of the Dakota U11A girls after winning the 2000 Winnipeg city Soccer Championship. None of the girls achieved the soccer success that Desiree has. The girls in the picture are in college, university, or have jobs and careers now. On top of that success, many are still playing soccer.
I don’t recall what the motivated my wife and I to register our daughter in community club soccer program. My wife would know, I think our daughter’s friends were registering. That decision to put her in soccer opened up a world of new friends, social activities and personal growth. If you ask my daughter, she just remembers having fun.
As a soccer coach, I measure success by what the kids do after they finish youth sports. They may play soccer now because mom and dad make them. What do they do when they have to make the decision themselves, do they still play?
I can list 10 girls over the years of coaching that are still playing after youth soccer. Some girls even coach. As parents we appeared to have succeeded in instilling the importance of physical fitness in our daughter. She continues to register herself in the Women’s Winnipeg Soccer League (Go SE Shooters!) and does some coaching on top of university, work and her social life.
I suspect technology has pulled young people from the grass of playing fields to the virtual grass of video games. I know a video game for sports would be cheaper.
No registration fees, no equipment costs, no scheduling arrangements and no driving. Sounds like a financial win for mom and dad at the cost of no participation.
Through the years I have coached youth sports, I have witnessed a positive change in many kids. I have seen them grow from the silent type to being a team leader. I have seen kids make bad decisions, face the consequences and come back later to apologize and ask to return.
I have seen kids fail, yet never give up. Sports can create safe challenges that kids can learn life skills from. My daughter is in her 20s and I still go watch her play. I marvel at what she has accomplished in her life with a little sports along the way.
If sports strikes a cord with you, take time to check out the Jonathan Toews Community Centre website for spring registration in baseball, softball, basketball and soccer. Times and dates are posted for registration. I would like to say you won’t regret it, that is if you have the time to participate.
Sean Conway is a community correspondent for St. Vital.