Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Henderson event satisfies almost everyone

By KATHY RUMLESKI, Free Press Sports Reporter

At the one end of the expansive set of fields at the London Psychiatric Hospital site, a team of under-10 girls and their fans were screaming in delight yesterday, giddy with positive emotion. The Mississauga Falcons had just won their division of the Henderson soccer tournament in a shootout. Moments later, at the other end, a man was screaming at a volunteer, his anger incontrovertible, because he disputed a ruling about yellow cards that had been handed out to one of his players. Welcome to a kids' soccer tournament. "You have to expect it," tournament chairperson Laurie Workman said as she radioed a police officer to come over just to make sure the man's verbal assaults didn't go any further. It's the old adage: you can't please everyone. Especially when there are 3,000 kids and their parents involved. "There's not a lot of people leaving unhappy," Workman pointed out. "It's been a really good tournament." Workman said she could have used more volunteers -- especially on the final day when she only had five to start. And she wished the grass was greener. But Workman said the tournament, for players under-9 to under-19, ran smoothly and she's hoping it will bring in more than $25,000 for the London United club, the host of the event. "This is our major fundraiser," she said. "We hope we're getting bigger and better each year." The money raised pays for such things as leasing and maintaining the fields, equipment and uniforms. So the 25th annual three-day tournament concluded yesterday with most people taking away positive memories. "We'll be back next year," promised the Mississauga under-10 girls' coach, Fred Stradiotto. "We enjoy it."


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