“Good try Natalie!” shouted a chorus of 7-year old girls. “Don’t worry, you’ve got the next one!”
The game had only just started, and already 2 tortoise-paced shots had rolled past our goalkeeper into the net. It was her first time playing in goal (everyone gets a chance during the season), and she stared wide-eyed at her coach, mouthing the words “What do I do?!”
“Hmmm. Ok, let’s bend our knees and crouch down like a tiger. Now we hold our paws out in front, so we can see our sharp claws! When the ball gets close, we can’t let it escape…we’re going to pounce on it and sink our claws right in!”
For the rest of the game, nothing got past her, and suddenly she was no longer a nervous rookie, but the most fearless goalkeeper on the team!
2018 is the first year that Blueprint Solutions has sponsored a team in the North Toronto Soccer Club, and our season was filled with stories like this.
It’s been amazing to watch our group of 7 year-olds improve each week, growing in confidence and self-esteem as they learned that each girl had her own unique talents, and an important role to play on the team.
Whether you were a tenacious defender, a playmaker, or a striker with an accurate shot, it took teamwork and a solid effort from everyone to have a good game.
Soccer players listening intently to their coaches
From the NTSC website:
“NORTH TORONTO SOCCER CLUB provides quality developmental, recreational, competitive and high-performance programs to 5,200 community youth, made possible by 700 energetic, dedicated volunteers and 100+ generous community & corporate sponsors.”
Needless to say, it takes an enormous community effort to make NTSC’s programs a reality, and we’re very proud of the small part that Blueprint Solutions plays.
While soccer may not be as expensive as sports like hockey and skiing, the league fees are still out of reach for many families in Toronto. We’re truly gratified that our sponsorship helps make it possible for less affluent kids to participate.
Our CTO, Aleem Sunderji, is also a volunteer coach, and spends Wednesday evenings at the field tying shoelaces, bandaging scrapes, and occasionally teaching some actual soccer skills!
Some individual attention from the head coach!
We’re looking forward to another season filled with fun and new friendships in 2019!
P.S. For our many readers outside Canada and the USA, we do acknowledge that “football” is the most sensible name for a sport played exclusively with the feet! 🙂