The president of a Winnipeg soccer club says members are shocked and dismayed over news a former coach has been charged with sexually assaulting a child player.
Last week, Steven Skavinsky, 50 was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting, exploiting and interfering with a girl under the age of 14 over a 2 ½-year period ending this May.
'I've been told that I'm a great coach with a lot of patience and understanding of the game.' —Online essay by Steven Skavinsky
He is also charged with using the internet to lure a minor and possession of child pornography.
He's being held in custody pending a court appearance on Thursday. He has yet to make a bail application.
Skavinsky coached girls soccer teams at the Windsor and Greendell Community clubs in Winnipeg. His last stint was coaching under-13 girls at the Greendell club in the 2009-10 season.
The Bonivital Soccer Club oversees play at the facilities. Its president, Gary Coleman, said on Monday that he has known Skavinsky for years and was shocked to hear of the charges he's facing.
"Once we do our process and we do that to the best of our ability and the government gives them the OK — I mean the city and the Child Abuse Registry — then what else can we do?," Coleman said.
Skavinsky coached his own son at the Windsor club for many years – but also welcomed opportunities to coach other teams, Coleman said.
"He was a good coach — he was very dedicated to soccer. He was willing to coach teams that his child wasn't on, which you don't get very often," he said.
Up until news of his arrest, there was never any inkling of problems, Coleman said.
"Up until last Friday, you would figure he was a stand-up guy, right?," Coleman said.
In online postings, Skavinsky describes himself as the owner of a local recording studio and said he is going through a divorce after 18 years of marriage.
He also writes about his love of coaching soccer.
"Man, I gotta tell you. I've been told that I'm a great coach with a lot of patience and understanding of the game and how people work and this and that," Skavinsky wrote.
"I don't have a clue if that's true. The one thing I do know is that when I walk out of the house carrying all that equipment, I don't have a single regret," he stated.