What I Learned from Soccer: Life Lessons
Players, coaches and referees share their insights as lifelong followers of the game
Soccer is a lifelong passion for many people in B.C. and many of them have gained a lot from the game.
The Early Edition spoke with soccer coaches, players and referees who shared what they learned from many years immersed in the beautiful game.
Carl Valentine is the club ambassador for the Whitecaps Football Club. He has played and coached for the Whitecaps and represented Canada in the 1986 World Cup.
Carl says he's learned as much from the fans as he has from the game.
Bob Lenarduzzi is the president of the Whitecaps Football Club. He started his soccer career in his teens and has been with the Whitecaps for a span of about 40 years.
He says he wouldn't know what he would do... if he hadn't accepted the challenge to stay in soccer.
Andrea Neil represented Canada at four World Cups on the women's national team. She also coached the national team after retiring as a player in 2007.
She now coaches the women's soccer team at UBC and says soccer taught her pure joy and to live in the moment.
"When the ball moves, you must also move."
Dale Mitchell represented Canada as a member of the national team in the 1986 World Cup, and at the Olympics in 1984. He's also coached the Vancouver Whitecaps and the men's national team.
Mitchell is now the technical director for the B.C. Soccer Premier League.
"It's given me an opportunity to travel all over the world," said Mitchell. "You get a chance to see what happens in other countries, both soccer-wise and culturally."
Carrie Serwetnyk is a former member on the women's national team and the first woman inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame. She is now a coach and the founder of Equal Play.
Carrie remembers when she first started playing soccer, there weren't a lot of girls involved in organized sport.
"Having played soccer, you almost take for granted that you have instant friends, you have health, you have vitality."
Carl Robinson was born in Wales, and is now the head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Growing up in the U.K., soccer was a way of life, and he's hopeful that someday Wales will make it to the World Cup, so he can coach for his homeland.
"Coming over here in 2007 was a big decision for me and my family... I haven't looked back since."
Marcelo Zuge is a Brazilian who grew up breathing soccer.
When he came to Canada, his career took an unexpected turn when he began coaching. Now he's back in Brazil to watch the World Cup firsthand.
Gregor Young is the technical director of the Vancouver United Football Club. He is now passing on his passion for soccer to his children.
He's been planning his trip to Brazil for two years and managed to catch the opening match, as well as some key games during the tournament in several cities.