Eastern Eagles Soccer Association in Montague, P.E.I., is looking for volunteers to coach games — saying it needs seven more people to step forward to make sure kids in eastern P.E.I. get a chance to play.
"They are basically the lifeblood of the organization," said Tim Simpson, the club's youth program director, adding that without volunteer coaches, "I don't know if we'd have a club here in Montague."
"If we didn't have volunteers for things like coaches and other positions on the board we'd have to hire coaches and if we had to do that, the fees would probably double and kids wouldn't be able to afford it."
Simpson said paying coaches would be a last resort, and if that doesn't work, they would have to disband teams.
Need for older volunteers
Six people have volunteered so far, he said, but the club is looking for more than twice that, with a total of about 13 coaches needed before the season starts in May.
Simpson said most of the people who have stepped up so far are high school students who are eligible for a $500 bursary if they coach throughout the season.
Volunteers ages 14 and up can coach mini-soccer and the under-11 teams, but the club especially needs volunteers who are a bit older to lead under-14, under-17 and under-20 teams to the field.
'Lots of support'
"They don't need to know a whole lot about the game to start," says Simpson. "There's lots of support out there."
Volunteers will be offered free coaching courses through the PEI Soccer Association. The Eastern Eagles club will have a designated technical director this season to help coaches with tactics, drills and any questions related to the sport.
The soccer season starts mid-May to early June depending on a team's age and rank. Coaching courses begin April 28.
Interested volunteers can find more information on the club's website.
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