I began playing with the First Touch Soccer Academy when I was six, but back then it was called Al’s Pals. What has remained consistent is Coach Martin‘s love for the game and inspiring the players to be the best version of themselves. At first I did not like it because I was un-athletic, had trouble running with asthma and hardly knew how to kick a ball. I ended up playing every weekend until I became too old for the program. It must have rubbed off on me enough that I asked Coach if I could continue coming every weekend but as an assistant. He agreed and I continued every weekend until I graduated high school and left for college.
First Touch Soccer Academy helped me develop a love for soccer and in turn a love for health and fitness that I will carry-on for the rest of my life after developing it at Als Pals. I still play weekly and continue to make new friends and memories around this wonderful game.
At college I studied to become a teacher and when people ask me what inspired me and where I get my teaching philosophy from, I tell them about Coach Martin. I remember that he always told us “everyone plays”. It doesn’t matter what your skill level, financial situation or if you have a disability, everyone is a part of the team and everyone matters. I have taken this into the classroom and continue to be inspired by Martin’s kindness and knowledge.