Sean Riggs is proof that one should never give up.
Having been bypassed when he applied for the technical director position with the Prince Albert Youth Soccer Association three years ago, Riggs tried again this fall when the position became vacant and second time around turned out to be a charm.
“It’s the only true cradle to grave club in Saskatchewan,” says Riggs in reference to PAYSA developing players from as early as four years of age and following them through to the senior leagues. “Saskatoon, for example, has community clubs for the younger players and they (developmental teams) don’t even see the players until they are 11 or 12 years old.”
Riggs should know as he played all of his soccer in the Hub City and has been a coach there since 1999. Riggs has obtained his National B coaching certificate and he has been a skills development coach with several clubs over the years.
Now he wants to move onto a bigger challenge and the technical director role offers him a chance to continue moving forward with his chosen career path.
“My goal is to develop soccer in Saskatchewan, not just P.A.,” says Riggs. “There has been a big shift the last few years from competing to win to more skill development. The board members here are big believers in that and it is nice that they are on track with skill development as opposed to winning at all costs.”
Riggs inherits a program that was put in place by former technical director Robert Maltman, who left the organization in May to take on the head coaching duties with the University of Regina Cougars women’s team.
Riggs says because the technical director role was filled just before the indoor season began, he will incorporate a lot of Maltman’s training packages and scheduling, but he will be looking for ways to continually improve the sport in Prince Albert.
“I’ll be doing a lot of scheduling for practising and finding teams to come here for club days on Saturdays,” says Riggs. “My goal is whatever goals the kids have because I want them to achieve them.”
“If we run a great program and challenge the kids and make sure they enjoy it and have fun, they will tell their friends – it becomes contagious,” adds Riggs.
Now that Riggs has got the job he wanted, and found a house to complete the relocation process, it is time to get down to business. House leagues began the indoor schedule this week at the Alfred Jenkins Field House and Celtic clubs will take shape with practises starting next week.
Riggs will be spending a lot of time overseeing the programs, but most of all he will be ensuring that the coaches and players continue to improve their skills so that they can enjoy the game even more.