Lending a helpful hand | SierraSun.com

Lending a helpful hand

Sylas WrightSierra Sun
Seth Lightcap/Sierra SunSummit 7000 Soccer Academy Coach Dennis Belisle teaches the art of ball control to Mrs. Ford's Truckee Elementary fifth-grade class. Belisle volunteered as a guest gym teacher to help promote youth soccer for boys and girls of all ages.
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Call it an addiction, just not in a negative sense. But Dennis Belisle is a soccer coaching fiend.A youth soccer coach in the Truckee-Tahoe area for 15 years serving as Director of Coaching for his Summit 7000 Soccer Academy and leading summer camps through the Truckee-Donner Recreation andamp; Park District the 45-year-old Santa Rosa native volunteered two weeks of his time to teach physical education classes at Glenshire and Truckee elementary schools.His lesson plan was a given: Soccer played in the schools gyms.My nonprofit (Summit 7000 Soccer Academy) just got a grant, so its my way of giving back to the community, sharing my time, he said between P.E. classes Tuesday at Truckee Elementary, adding that his nonprofit is tax exempt.Its been a good learning experience for me, he said of teaching the classes. The best part about it is making new friends and opening kids eyes to the game. Seeing kids smile and have fun is the most important thing.Belisles offer to lend a hand which he did at Glenshire all last week and Truckee this week was welcomed at both schools.You bet, said Darin Veliquette, a P.E. teacher at Glenshire Elementary. He does really well with the kids. He keeps their attention well, so I was pleased to have him over here. We had a great time, and the kids really enjoyed it, too.Shauna Correll, a P.E. teacher at Truckee Elementary, said she also appreciates Belisle donating a week of his time to pass on his soccer knowledge. And he has plenty of it, boasting professional coaching licenses from three different continents. I love it, its great, said Correll, explaining that she leads the children through their normal warm-up routine before handing over the stage to Belisle. It gives the kids a new perspective on things. Its nice to see them respond to someone new. And he has great ideas. Ive learned a lot just watching him teach the kids soccer.Belisles idea to volunteer at local schools originated from a call he received out of blue, he said from Renos Libby Booth Elementary School in early November. He was told there was a large contingent of children at the school interested in playing soccer, and was asked if he would spend a lunch break teaching them the ins and outs of the game. He did, and the free coaching session sparked a new interest. Id like to do it at every school. Id like to set up a program where I could have my (Summit 7000 Soccer Academy) coaches do this at every school once a year for free, Belisle said.Im only going to be alive so long, and right now I have the energy to do what Im doing.

Truckees Dennis Belisle has been playing soccer since the age of 5 and coached his first team the Santa Rosa United of his hometown at 14. In 1989 he received a full-badge English Football Association coaching credential and in 1995 earned a Futuro II coaching credential in Bolivia.Living in England for three-and-a-half years, Belisle played professionally for the Bashley Football Club in New Milton before moving to Truckee in 1990. In his time in Bolivia, Belisle coached the Santa Cruz Destroyers. He also coached at the collegiate level for Pacific Union College in Napa, Calif., and served as Director of Coaching for the Sierra Soccer Club from 2000 until 2003. He then started the Summit 7000 Soccer Academy, which has expanded into four parts: Indoor Futsal, U-9 and U-10 U.S. Club Soccer, Parks and Rec Camps, and the Summit 7000 Summer Camps. He currently has eight coaches on his staff and six acting board members. To learn more about Summit 7000 Soccer Academy, contact Belisle at 587-5455 or http://www.summit7000.org.