PEI

P.E.I. soccer coach trying to put fun back in sports

The "Let's Play" Indoor Soccer festival kicked off Saturday in Summerside, P.E.I., but don’t ask who won or lost. For soccer coach Ken Trenholm, it's not about the score.

Summerside indoor soccer festival takes pressure off kids

Soccer coach Ken Trenholm insructs kids during the "Let's Play" indoor soccer festival Saturday in Summerside, P.E.I. (Jessica Doria-Brown)

The "Let's Play" indoor soccer festival kicked off Saturday in Summerside, P.E.I., but don't ask who won or lost.

For soccer coach Ken Trenholm, it's not about the score.

He is trying to change the way kids learn sports by removing the pressure and structure, and focussing on having fun. That's one reason he organized the festival.

"It's more friendly, more community focused, and that's the whole idea around this, bring play back to the community, back to kids and taking the competition out, because competition clouds a lot," he said.

Sometimes the coaches get caught up in winning, and when coaches get caught up in winning, the kids end up losing out— Ken Trenholm

"That's where coaching is really important, but sometimes the coaches get caught up in winning, and when coaches get caught up in winning, the kids end up losing out."

About 120 boys and girls, aged 3-12, took part in the event, spread across three school gymnasiums in Summerside.

Trenholm said kids don't get out and play the way they used to and he hopes events like these will help to change that.

"It's really it's about playing and enjoying themselves and just doing it, there's not a lot of coaching, there's a tiny speck of instruction," he said.

Parents such as Nicole Martin, who brought her daughter to the event, appreciate Trenholm's philosophy.

"I think it's great," she said. "She's involved in hockey and other things, this is nice because it's just one day and something different than she's been doing all winter."

Another "Let's Play" festival is scheduled for May.

Organizers hope to expand the program in the summer, and use outdoor fields.

With files from Jessica Doria-Brown

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