Darrin McLeod of the Upper Island Riptide has been awarded a BC Soccer Award of Merit.
The Award of Merit is presented to individuals in recognition of contributions to soccer, during a period of 10 or more years as a player, manager, coach, official, or administrator at the club/league or district level.
The award was formally presented on June 15 at BC Place, where McLeod joined other provincial award recipients at a Whitecaps vs. New England Revolution match.
McLeod is a UISA director, chair UISA VIPL, head coach of CVUSC Crush and assistant coach of the VIPL1998 Girls Riptide.
As a kid from the Prairies growing up in rural Saskatchewan, McLeod’s first sport was hockey; his love of soccer developed later in life, and he was first bitten when he began coaching his eldest daughter’s soccer team in Winnipeg. In 2002, he and his family were posted to the Comox Valley, and since then, he has been involved in soccer, non-stop, as a coach, volunteer, and recreational player.
McLeod has spent countless hours volunteering in youth soccer in the Upper Island. He started by coaching his youngest daughter, Mackenzie, and her house team in the Comox Valley United Soccer Club (CVUSC) and after a few years, began co-coaching his eldest daughter, Kiersten, and her Rep team, the CVUSC Red Tide.
In 2008, he graduated to head coach of Mackenzie’s U12G Rep team, the CVUSC Crimson Crush. In 2009, both the Red Tide and the Crush attended the BCSA Provincial B-Cup Championships in North Vancouver; the Red Tide were the bronze medal winners in the U17G division and the Crush were provincial champions at U13G.
His passion for soccer is not only on the field; both CVUSC and the Upper Island Soccer Association (UISA) utilized McLeod’s organizational skills, vision, and strong work ethic. He held roles as VP of House and VP of Development on the CVUSC executive from 2006 to 2009.
In 2009, he left CVUSC to become a UISA Director. While on the UISA executive, McLeod was involved in the administration, scheduling and running of the UISA League, spearheaded the Fireball Futsal Festival and developed policy within UISA. He also held the role of chair from 2011 to 2012.
McLeod was instrumental in the development of the Vancouver Island Premier League (VIPL), an A-Cup level inter-district league jointly run by UISA and Lower Island Soccer Association. In 2012, McLeod left the UISA executive to further focus on his own coaching development.
“Darrin has an incredible passion for the game of soccer. He is passionate not only about coaching, but about improving the leagues and the organization that we play within,” says Mike Oldale, assistant coach of the CVUSC Crush and head coach of the VIPL 1998G Riptide.
Most recently, McLeod is the chair of the UISA VIPL committee, a member of the VIPL Riptide regional steering committee, and has just completed his B Provincial coaching qualifications.
On the field, he is the head coach to the CVUSC Crush as well as the assistant coach of the VIPL 1998G Riptide team.
When he is not coaching, he and his daughters can often be found playing futsal at the neighbourhood school gym or on the pitch playing 7-aside in the local spring league.
– Upper Island Riptide