By Ryan Palencer
Several parents around the country are passionate about becoming involved in their own children’s extracurricular activities.
For Elizabeth Turner, her children’s will not be the only lives that she will touch in the Tri-West community.
Turner, who has continued to coach the U14 boys’ soccer team long after her children have outgrown the league, was recently named Indiana Soccer’s Boys’ Recreational Coach of the Year.
“It was very exciting to be recognized for doing what you love to do and enjoy doing,” Turner said. “It’s very rewarding.”
Turner has been involved in the team for the past decade, both as an assistant coach and head coach. Over the past two years, she has led the squad to the WCSSF championship.
“I actually coached my oldest two children, who are twins,” Turner said. “They started playing when they were 4. I started coaching at that point and took over as head coach of the U14 team in the spring of 2010.”
Turner said there’s one thing that keeps her returning each year.
“It’s definitely the kids,” she said. “The look in their eye and the excitement (is great). Just the other night, we had practice and hearing them laugh and just kicking the ball around, having a good time developing their skills, that’s the reward in itself.”
It is this experience that has Turner just as excited for the start of the season.
Turner faced some stiff competition for the award too.
“It’s not just rewarding, but it’s very humbling,” she said. “There are a lot of individuals who take time out of every single day to give back and coach kids who have a passion for soccer. To be selected and honored amongst those peers and the fellow coaches is extremely humbling. I am deeply appreciative of Indiana Soccer for taking the time to recognize me for the work in my community.”
Turner said she cannot say enough about the Tri-West community and its support of youth soccer.
“The parents and the club at Tri-West are phenomenal,” she said. “They’re supportive. They’re always willing to do whatever you need as a coach. They’re constantly backing you with that positive energy and positive spirit that I think is unique. I don’t think I would be able to do as good of a job without the backing of the club.”
However, she knows that the most crucial part to her success is from within those closest to her.
“The support of my family and friends allows me to leave my house and leave my kids every evening and help give back to some of the other kids, those 18 players every season,” Turner said. “I’m appreciative of them. The award isn’t just for me, but it’s for all of us.”