Some might say that young people are glued to their screens all day and all night. But that's harder to say when so many bright young people are running, kicking, playing and laughing in Luskville every Monday evening.
Community soccer classes started up on Tuesday, May 1st at the Luskville Recreational Park. The two- to four year-olds play in the softball field. The older group, aged five and up, play on the soccer field to the north.
"For new parents who are joining us for the first time, don't worry if your child doesn't participate in the beginning," said coach and coordinator Sylvie L'Heureux. "It's a very relaxed atmosphere, so if 45 minutes is too long and they want to go to the park after a half hour, [it's okay]. Our intention is to get the kids moving, to have fun interacting with others their age and to initiate them to soccer with the hopes they'll want to keep playing by the time they are old enough to register for Groupe Action Jeunesse's soccer."
Soccer training is all about fun and encouragement!
Pontiac 2020.ca asked organizers Sylvie L'Heureux and Camille Beaufort about the summer program.
Pontiac2020ca: How many years have you been running soccer classes?
SL'H. This is our fourth year. In 2015, Groupe Action Jeunesse Luskville approached us when they decided to bring soccer back to Luskville to see if we wanted to run something for little ones at the same time as their soccer for the 5+ crowd.
P2020: How many children do you have signed up?
SLH. We have about 38 kids signed up, though we might have a couple more this week. From year to year, it varies between the 37-43 range.
Learning strength, skill and style
P2020.ca: Who funds the program?
SL'H: Last years funding (especially the Acti-Leader salaries) came from Pontiac en Forme (PeF). We are using the last of our money from PeF to pay our helper this year. Since this is the end of PeF, we'll be looking at other funding options for next year, although our expenses are low so it won't be a problem to keep running it. The coaches are volunteer parents and the $5 registration fee helps cover any equipment needs from year to year. The Municipality of Pontiac generally gives us funding that helps cover our insurance [...] so we consider them partners in most of what we do although we don't request specific funding for soccer.
P2020: Is there any room for more children in the classes?
SL'H. We generally aim for about 40 kids; if we got many more we'd need another parent-coach.
Running and kicking... and learning.
P2020: How many parents act as coaches/teachers? Do you need more helpers?
SL'H: We are always looking for more helpers! This year there is just one coach, as opposed to two in previous years where we would split the group and [have] one junior-lead. We are making some adjustments to work as one big group instead of two smaller ones, such as having the kids rotate through a series of activities, [in order] to make the program work with just one coach. That being said, if a soccer lover reads this and wants to come out and coach half the group, we'd be happy to have him or her.
Sympathetic, patient and enthusiastic community coaches make soccer both fun and a worth-while challenge.
"We don't turn anyone away who wants to join in the fun!" said L'Heureux.
Get involved in this remarkable community initiative by contacting Sylvie L'Heureux and Beaufort by email at firstname.lastname@example.org