Saturday, September 23, 2023


By Nerissa Jawanda, 21 Jul, 2015
  • YOUNG SOCCER STAR: Juvi Kooner
Not many people can say they’ve travelled around the world to play in tournaments, acted as the captain of their sports team, or won various trophies by the age of 13. This is, however, typical for young soccer player Juvi Kooner. For him, soccer has been more than a game – it’s been a way to make friends, grow as a person and learn. 
This Tamanawis Secondary School student, who is currently the captain of the Canadian Team Under 14-16, began playing soccer when he was just four and half years old, due to his father’s passion for the game. “My dad is why I got involved in sports. He used to play too, so I guess I’m following his path,” explains Juvi.
His father’s decision to get him involved in soccer turned out to be a great one, as Juvi has enjoyed the sport ever since he started playing, and wants to continue doing for a long time. “It is fun and something I always enjoy,” he says.
Juvi has also made many close friends through soccer, stating it as one of the many benefits of playing the sport. In fact, some of his favourite aspects of soccer are, “Making a lot of friends, enjoying yourself, and expressing yourself with the ball.”
Being a soccer player is something he is proud and passionate about. His favourite part of being an athlete is putting in hard work and effort to reach his goals. Juvi believes that putting your complete effort leads to becoming a better player and being happy.
Despite his success, there are failures that the young player has encountered along the way. Optimistically, Juvi believes that these setbacks can be opportunities for development, which can help facilitate growth as an athlete and as a teammate. Sharing one of his disheartening moments, he remembers feeling let down when his team lost a tournament in Montreal by one goal, two years ago. It was an important game, and one where his team could have played a lot better than they did, recalls Juvi. 
However, though it was an emotional situation for him and his teammates, the 13-year-old caption believes it taught them a valuable lesson. They learned to work harder and as a team. “Winning trophies is also great, obviously, but it’s also important to learn something when you’re playing – to get the most out of it,” adds the young captain.
Like many young athletes, Juvi gives credit to his family for playing a crucial role in getting him to where he is today. He points out that their continued assistance, advice and understanding has helped him in many ways. He believes that family support and guidance from his coaches are the most important factors to his success. 
Soccer has become a major part of Juvi’s life, and although it can be a time-consuming activity, Juvi has been able to manage his time accordingly – it hasn't interrupted his schoolwork. He shares, “Soccer does actually take up a lot of time, but I go to school from morning to afternoon, come back home, go to practice, and then go home for some quality family time.” His schedule indicates that Juvi has been able to balance soccer, school and home life quite well. 
His advice to other athletes is to “express yourself, enjoy, and work hard.” Juvi plans on continuing to follow these points in his pursuit of playing for a professional soccer team one day.
Looking at the successful and positive growth of Juvi, one can say that putting young kids into organized sports has many benefits. It can have positive effects on the child’s physical and 
mental wellbeing. It also allows children to gain leadership and teamwork skills at a young age, which are beneficial in the long run.
His favourite team is Barcelona.
His favourite players are Lionel Messi, Zinedine Zidane and Diego Maradona.
His favourite hobbies beyond soccer are drawing and art.


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