Soccer is in Shelley Armitage’s blood.

The mother of two boys played the game at the collegiate, university and provincial levels. As a teenager, she wanted to share her love of the sport with other female athletes. Once she had her own children, it was an easy transition to coaching boys and she has now been leading teams for 18 years.

“Soccer has shaped my life in such a positive way from a very young age that coaching is a way to give back and promote the sport that has given me so much,” says Armitage.

According to the parents of the boys U12 club soccer team, Armitage has had a lifelong impact and lasting impression on the kids she coaches.

“Shelley has created such a positive and caring space for our young athletes to learn not only the game of soccer, but more importantly, to learn lifelong skills and qualities such as respect, discipline, perseverance, resiliency and mindfulness,” says Erin Leggett, whose son plays on the team.

“These skills have, in turn, elevated our son’s confidence, self-esteem, sense of focus and self-worth.”

Leggett says Armitage is the epitome of what a coach should be; someone who inspires their athletes to believe in themselves and to do more than they think they can.