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Soccer season wraps with honours to volunteers

The PECSA Scott Wentworth Award will be presented annually for excellence in coaching. Wentworth’s long-time contributions were honoured by association president Pam McRae. At right, she presents Gary Parks with the award honouring his contributions to the PECSA, noting the year-end event will now be called The PECSA Gary Parks Annual Soccer Tournament.

Mark Bass, recipient of the first excellence in coaching award, also carefully accepted a pie he thought may be headed toward his face.

Thanks to the work of many volunteers, more than 800 Prince Edward County youth ages four through 19 enjoyed another season of sports and sportsmanship culminating in the annual tournament last weekend.

Saturday, the Prince Edward County Soccer Association honoured two outstanding executive members for their contributions and dedication over the past 15 years.

“Our executive saw the stepping back of two huge key members – Scott Wentworth and Gary Parks,” said soccer association president Pam McRae.
“It has taken quiet, unheralded efforts of these two county residents to really make PECSA what it has become.”

Parks was a founding member of the association, completing every job possible over the years from cutting the pitch, to lining the fields to ordering jerseys and scheduling games.

“To honour all the hours of commitment and sweat and hard work Gary has put in since the day he started and still to this day, we decided to rename the year-end tournament to the Gary Parks Annual Soccer Tournament.”

McRae noted Wentworth joined the executive just after it started and became a huge contributor not only professionally but with coaching.

“Many soccer players in the county have Scott to thank when it comes to their excelling at the sport,” says McRae. “Coaches and players from teams throughout eastern Ontario have repeatedly made remarks about the high quality of the fields.”

The PECSA created “The Scott Wentworth Excellence in Coaching Award” and its first recepient, Mark Bass, “was unanimously chosen for his positive impact on the players.”

Wentworth was honoured to have the award named after him but says the real reward is seeing soccer participants thrive “learning new skills, gaining greater social skills and a strong sense of pride.

“The whole aspect of getting kids outside and involved is a great one for their healthier lifestyle but also for building self esteem from participating in team sports. That’s always been a focus with Gary and my work with the association here.”

Parks is also proud of the association’s efforts in the community.
“When we first started out, we were hoping for 125 to 250 kids. First it was 450 and it grew to over a thousand and even with declining enrollment in schools we’re still bouncing between 800 and 900 children playing, so to hold our own like that is a good feeling.

Mayor Peter Mertens also presented Parks with a certificate of appreciation.

“We take great pride in recognizing your contributions celebrating your strong community spirit and dedication to our local youth.”

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