- Our Town
Giving back to Bowen FC
The Bowen Island Football Club, like most non-profit organizations, relies on the dedication of volunteers for success. Giving back to the club their skills, talent and time are two local high school students, Peter Goumeniouk and Devon Thomson.
They started coaching for BIFC in the fall. Working closely with the development groups ranging in age from four to eight, these young coaches inspire the kids with their abilities and knowledge of the game.
Peter started playing soccer on Bowen when he was four, long before the club officially was established. When he could no longer play on-island, he joined a team in West Vancouver.
“Back then we use to play with little wooden goal posts on half the grass field; now I’m playing metro. It's a bit of a commute but its worth it,” he says. Now 17, Peter plays for the FC U-18 Metro, a West Vancouver team called the Rangers. His accomplishments include, being an AA Provincial Cup Commissioners' 16 award recipient and a past four-district champion.
Peter’s soccer technique is impressive but when coaching this age group it's all about patience and attitude. “Even if they are not always keen on being out there playing soccer, they are always happy. It's really nice to see and it does rub off on you. Even if you are tired and it's been a long day and they haven’t been listening to you, at the end they all come in together and hug you. Then we do a big cheer and it's fun.”
When Devon first came to Bowen he joined the Under 8 team coached by Gian Perroni. Now 15 years old and a student at Rockridge Secondary, Devon has been playing soccer for 10 years. His accomplishments include a first- and second-place community cup. For the last three years he has been playing outside his age group with ease and his sportsmanship on the field is impeccable.
Devon has a natural way with the kids but admits that coaching is harder than he had thought it would be.
“Over time soccer moves become automatic, but when you have to explain it you need to break it down into small parts and it actually teaches you how to do every little step,” he says. His coaching style is simple but very effective:
“Make them excited. If you are excited they are excited and then everyone works really well together.”
Both Peter and Devon have very busy academic and soccer lives outside the club. BIFC is very fortunate to have had them coach the U6, U8 and U10 developmental groups. The club has also implemented a mentoring program to encourage the younger league members to assist the coaches with this age group. The mentor's role is to help keep the kids under control, encourage them and to demonstrate moves. This mentoring program has proven very successful and the energy the mentors bring to the field is infectious, right down to the youngest of players.
The next development session will start in April 2014. For more information about BIFC and to register please visit www.bowenfc.com.]