Ed Odeven Reporting

This feature appeared in the Arizona Daily Sun in May 2004.

Everybody wins with V.I.P. soccer program

By Ed Odeven

We have witnessed these scenes too many times: Coaches screaming at a referee, questioning his/her intellect and demanding that they get thicker glasses or a hearing aid; fans taunting an opposing player who’s had a tough game; and parents berating a coach for not giving their kid enough playing time.

Many times, the joy of sports — watching or playing — is lost because people spoil the atmosphere. But remember this: We’re talking about games here. They are supposed to be fun.

And everyone deserves the chance to experience the pleasure of winning and being part of a team. Kudos to the American Youth Soccer Organization for recognizing this and establishing the V.I.P. (Very Important Player) Program 15 years ago.

The V.I.P. Program gives individuals 4 1/2 and older (there’s…

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