Where Futball Enthusiasts & Mentors Share
Sessions Fridays Throughout The Winter
Our 5 Photo Albums (listed below)
In the cold and dark evenings of the Edmonton sub-zero winters, every Friday night groups of bundled up kids braced against the cold as they scramble in groups to the Duggan school gymnasium. Excited voices greets the mentors as they peel of their boots, torques and parkas.
Adults, teens and kids, male and female, of different cultures and religions, come regularly for 90 minutes to share in a common love of the world's most popular sport.
The warm-up circle is where Attinaw or one of the volunteer mentors welcomes individuals again. These are more than just stretching out... they are a chance for kids and mentors to chat and bond. Individuals are focusing, almost in a reverend way, on the soccer training to come and on everyone's passion for soccer. Often individuals are invited in the center of the circle to be creative and make some "break-dance" type moves that everyone has to mimic. This makes the warm-ups very humorous and interesting.
The skills-training may have a different focus at each session... often including a review of previous skills to help reinforce the agility, muscle-memory, and most importantly the reflex action required for good ball-ball control, ball-handling, dribbling, attack moves, passing-control, and defence techniques. Often the skill drills are of a fun, competitive nature with the losers having to do 10 or 20 push-ups!
Different mentors may introduce the techniques, always expressing how it should "feel". Being experienced soccer players themselves, this gives the younger players a chance to "get into the head" of the mentors.
Everyone looks forward to the last 45 minutes when the pinneys come out, the gym is split in two and there are two simultaneous scrimmage games (one for the younger group and the second for the older group). Each goal scored sees those who were scored on doing 10 push-ups (with grins!).
The cool-down circle is again a coming together. Often Attinaw or a mentor offers some advice to all the participants emphasizing the need for a strong competitive drive, a personal commitment and determination to succeed, and the ideals of sportsmanship and fair play.
Every spring, the Soccer Tune-Up Soccer Tournament brings us together for a celebration of our individual successes and progress from the previous winter.
A procession around the park with Attinaw playing his trumpet brings participants to the fields where they ceremoniously bow... showing in a very classy way the respect that on should have for the game. The warmth of the spring sunshine makes for an enthusiastic playdown between "mixed-teams" of kids and mentors. Later in the day wagons arrive from across the field as hot food arrives. Often it is chili, hot dogs, hamburgers (keeping in mind the religious needs) with salads and drinks.
This site is dedicated to Attinaw Aytenfisu and his greater family and the other mentors, who have inspired a generation of young futball enthusiasts...
- Denis Chalifoux