Mini program, jumbo fun

CC Riders mini program pulling in big numbers, bigger smiles

Ryan Cooke ryan.cooke@trurodaily.com
Published on July 8, 2014
mini soccer

Published on 08 July 2014

<span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'MS 明朝'; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-fareast; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;">Austin Brown tracks down the ball before booting it into the opposing net. The kid was a force for a five-year-old, running the ball down the sidelines every chance he got. </span>

Photos by Ryan Cooke/Truro Daily News

mini soccer

Published on 08 July 2014

<span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'MS 明朝'; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-fareast; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;">Logan Rent-Roy celebrates a goal with a teammate, giving out high-fives as he makes his way back to the center of the field. Logan was among one of two-dozen kids to show up on Tuesday night for the CC Riders under-6 mini program. </span>

Photos by Ryan Cooke/Truro Daily News

mini soccer

Published on 08 July 2014

<span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'MS 明朝'; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-fareast; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;">Coach Bruce McDowell hands out Freezies to the kids following their game. As soon as the game ended, the kids flocked to the cooler, knowing what was coming next</span>

Photos by Ryan Cooke/Truro Daily News

mini soccer

Published on 08 July 2014

Photos by Ryan Cooke/Truro Daily News

mini soccer

Published on 08 July 2014

Photos by Ryan Cooke/Truro Daily News

BIBLE HILL – Two-dozen kids run around a field – laughing, squealing and loving life, while two coaches run after them maintaining order.

The rules of the game are not yet all too important, neither are strategies. These kids likely aren’t too concerned with Germany’s romp of Brazil in the World Cup, but they are impatiently awaiting cracking open the Popsicle cooler at the end of the match.

“Hey can we coach ourselves?” a little girl yells to one of them. “Can we? Can we?”

“What? No!” yells coach Bruce McDowell, as he laughs at the request – or demand.

McDowell is in his first year coaching the CC Riders mini program, on his daughter’s green team. Being in charge of a dozen kids under the age of six is a daunting task, but one he enjoys.

“It’s great fun for everyone,” he said. “The kids love it. They get to run around and play the game, and it’s fun just to see them have fun.”

The game is a recreational one, without much attention to the score. With empty nets at each end, the kids have a chance to experience the thrill of scoring a goal before any obstacles are introduced.

As the two teams go at it on the Bible Hill Central Elementary field, the same program is running for other under-6 kids in Truro, Onslow and Brookfield, with the under-8 kids playing afterwards.

Manning the red team is Gary Robar, in his fourth year with the program. After coaching his older daughter through the under-6 age group, Robar decided to stick around and help his younger daughter, Victoria, through.

“I love doing this, man,” he said. “We try to give them some of the basic skills, but we don’t focus too much on anything but having fun.”

While some people ask him how he manages to keep control of the kids, like McDowell he says it’s not that difficult.

“The kids this age are awesome,” he said. “All you have to do is give them a little guidance and they’re perfect. They’ll run around and have fun all night.”

As the game comes to an end, the kids run off to their sidelines and gather around their coach. While each coach has some words for the kids first, their attention is focused in one place – the cooler full of Popsicles and Freezies.

Before McDowell can cut open the first Freezie, the kids are piling in to get their own.

“Hang on, hang on, hang on guys! I have scissors here!”

The program runs throughout the summer, with under-4, under-6, under-8 and under-10 boys, girls and co-ed programs. Each division centres on advancing skills from the previous division, with focuses like agility, balance and co-ordination.