How Cambrian’s soccer coach spent his holidays

Posted on Wednesday September 7, 2016

Combining holiday time with his love of soccer is only natural for local coach Giuseppe Politi, even if it means spending more time in the classroom.

The man in charge of both the men’s and women’s soccer programs for the Cambrian Golden Shield already boasts an impressive list of credentials. He is the only local resident who can lay claim to having successfully completed his “A” coaching license with both the Canadian Soccer Association and the United States Soccer Federation.

Soon, he hopes to add another credential to the mix. In late August, Politi returned from a trip to the United Kingdom, spending time touring the likes of Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, Cardiff and London.

The first seven days of the trek, however, were spent in Northern Ireland, joining coaches from across the globe who were in search of the first part of their UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) “B” coaching license.

“I’m a big believer in professional development; I’ve exhausted all of the “A” licenses in Canada and the U.S., and I wanted to do something in Europe, in an English speaking country,” said Politi. “It was a good experience.

“I have a personal philosophy that I would like to be educated in one specific initiative per year.” It is that search for constant knowledge that drives Politi to expand his boundaries, even if the information presented, at times, can sometimes overlap.

“It was a lot of similar stuff to the Canadian/US models,” he noted. “The teaching of the curriculum and the philosophy and the ideas are the same. The difference over there is just the culture, the quality, the facilities, the money. Everything is amplified, from grass roots right through to the pro level.”

In fact, it would be fair to suggest that his experience would mirror, to a great extent, those of hockey folks in the UK who opt to access coaching certification in Canada. Given that much of the North American soccer teachings are based on tried and true practices from England, the similarity in course content came as very little surprise to the local high school teacher.

“There is a connection between Canada, the US and Britain,” said Politi. “If I had taken the course in Spain, perhaps it would have been different.” Still, as he looks forward to the second part of the “B” license structure, as well as both parts of the “A” license that he hopes to pursue over the course of the next three to four years, Politi has no doubt the challenge is worth the effort.

“I am predicting that the rich material, the things that change the way you see the game, and think the game, and coach the game, will come in part II and the “A” license,” he suggested. “The fundamental stuff  puts everyone on the same page. The best stuff is still to come.”

Politi is firm in his mindset about how he likes to see the game played but he remains receptive to listening and assessing ideas that may run contrary to his own. In his mind, this balance is a critical must.

“I will always say, even with other coaches, that nothing is absolute and everything is relative,” Politi confirmed. “You have to be open-minded. Everybody sees things a little bit different, and I think you have to be open and receptive to that.”

That approach provided an interesting mix this summer, as he sat in with coaches from South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia, North America and across Europe. “There was some good stuff,” he acknowledged.

“It was sort of two-fold, moments where it was “yes, I agree, I’ve been doing it right”, and other times where it was “there’s something I can fine tune a little bit”. There were things that I could bring back, not just to Cambrian, but to the Sudbury soccer community, and even my OSA (Ontario Soccer Association) work as a facilitator in the north, coaching other coaches.”

Yet the benefits extended well beyond the classroom. “There’s a nice camaraderie, because we’re all in the same sort of boat,” stated Politi. “You socialize in the evening, and you network with coaches. I’ve now got a contact with New York Red Bull Youth Academy. You meet people from all over, doing all sorts of things.”

“I hope those contacts continue to grow,” he added. “We were all kind of helping each other get through the process.” In terms of an ultimate end goal, Politi sees the process as the perfect outlet for his love of continuing education and his passion for soccer.

“Long term, I would consider using the credentials to open the door to another opportunity, maybe even outside of Sudbury.” Hopefully, not for a few years yet.

Coach Politi and the Cambrian soccer teams will open their 2016 OCAA season at home this coming weekend, with the women facing both the Fleming Knights and Loyalist Lancers, while the men battle only the first of the two.

The Cambrian and Fleming ladies kick things off Saturday (September 10th) at noon, with the men’s game scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. Come Sunday, the Lancers and Golden Shield women take to the pitch, once again for a twelve o’clock start.

Paramedic grads score 100% pass rate on provincial exam

Posted on Tuesday September 6, 2016

For the 12th consecutive year, Cambrian College’s Paramedic graduates have obtained a 100% success rate on their provincial certification exam, which is the final step to be registered to work in the field of paramedicine …

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