2012-05-04 / Letters

Need Help With Soccer Field

Dear Editor,

My name is George Kouroupis, and I moved to Belle Harbor six years ago.

I played professional soccer all over the world, and last year I was asked to coach the fifth graders at St. Francis de Sales, which I did. Given this opportunity, I realized that kids are deprived of learning to play the game the proper way, because existing teams are soccer clinics where everyone is welcome to play, no matter what.

Parents have been asking me to start a children’s team here in Belle Harbor, and I’m intending to do just that as there are many talented kids who can improve their skills and become soccer stars of tomorrow.

What I didn’t realize is that everything here operates as business and when I asked for a field in Fort Tilden where we could practice once or twice a week for an hour or so, I was told it will cost us $50 an hour.

I played soccer in South Africa and coached 10- to 12-year-old kids in government soccer fields that were given to us free of charge, and the same thing happened in every country where I worked. I love working with kids and among the hundreds I’ve had the pleasure of coaching, many made a career, and are now running the academies of well know soccer teams.

Fort Tilden is a government property, and is there for the kids to practice, and play games in order to have fun, get together and learn the game.

I cannot ask parents to contribute money so their kids could enjoy an hour of practice, as kids’ recreation is not business.

I want to start a soccer team, not a clinic, teach kids to play the game the proper way and it shouldn’t be such a big deal for the authorities to let us use one of the many soccer fields in Fort Tilden, for an hour once or twice a week.

GEORGE KOUROUPIS

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