By Kristina Charania
Q: Tell me about yourself and your profession.
I have been a soccer fanatic since I was very young – I always watched and played games. My passion for soccer and AC Milan (which has been my favourite team since I was four years old) has become a huge part of my life.
I also own Giorgio’s men’s wear in Downtown Vancouver. When my father was involved in the business, I often travelled to Europe as a very young boy with him and was always on the lookout for kids to play soccer with. My mom was born in Calabria, Italy, so I would play with the kids in the village every summer. I never lost my love for the sport.
Q: Your four year old son is training with JBST Soccer Academy at Kerrisdale Community Center. How did you learn about JBST and why did you decide to enrol him in that program?
When my son was two years old, I was walking by the gym and saw J.J. training very young kids. I was very interested in what he was doing, so my son and I watched for 30 minutes. Because I am connected to the soccer community, I have made many choices for my son, but no one understands young children like Coach J.J.
Q: What is your impression of your son’s soccer development from his first day at practice to his latest session?
He has made quite a bit of progress in the eight months he’s been going to practice. He’s having fun too!
Q: As a parent, how do you think parents should encourage their children’s learning process in soccer? Has your approach to encouraging your son to play soccer changed over time?
I was very pushy when my son began practicing with Coach J.J., but he told me to let him play and make him feel like soccer is a fun activity rather than something I want him to do. So yes, I listened to Coach J.J. and now my son is dragging me to the back yard or park to play!
Q: Do you see your son playing soccer in future years or as a teenager/ adult?
That’s my dream! He loves A.C. Milan and the White Caps too and tells me he wants to be a pro so he can buy himself and dad Ferrari’s. I hope he plays forever, but he will make that decision later in life.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your son’s soccer skill development.
I will always be there to help my son’s development alongside Coach J.J.’s guidance and I will do everything I can to make him the best player on the pitch! I am happy I met Coach J.J. and I hope to become closer with him in the future.