By Yakuso Umana
Nelson Edomobi, Colonel Grey High Schoolâ€™s boys soccer coach, oversees team practice. Edomobi is passionate about soccer and wants P.E.I. to be as passionate about the game (Photo credits: Yakosu Umana)
Nelson Edomobi isnâ€™t happy with soccerâ€™s popularity in P.E.I.
â€œHere soccer is dead, in my opinion,â€ Edomobi said.
The P.E.I. soccer association should do more to encourage soccerâ€™s growth, he said.
Edomobi said heâ€™s received criticism because of his passion for the game.
â€œWhen you have passion for something and you work with others who donâ€™t have passion for the same thing, you come off as crazy. They donâ€™t understand where youâ€™re coming from,â€ he said.
Edomobiâ€™s love for soccer began in preschool when he dribbled past an older kid at a training camp.
Since then, everything has been about soccer, he said.
â€œI love soccer, thatâ€™s basically me.â€
Edomobi couldnâ€™t think of many things he liked as much as soccer.
He left Nigeria in 2015 to study engineering at UPEI. In 2016, he began a program, The Soccer Initiative (TSI), where he and a friend organized a mini-tournament.
â€œWe spoke about it and he gave me a few ideas. We had other friends who wanted to compete, there was no entry fee or cash prize,â€ he said.
â€œWe just wanted people to know thatâ€™s a thing [TSI]. Itâ€™s a thing thatâ€™s about to get bigger in P.E.I.â€
Theyâ€™ve organized several more with players registering teams for a fee and competing for cash prizes.
This fall, TSI is hosting a league tournament at UPEI, featuring five teams and cash prizes.
Edomobi thinks there is nothing wrong with competition or being competitive.
â€œCompetition is not unhealthy, itâ€™s actually really healthy. Things may get heated in the moment, but you make a friend after because you wonâ€™t carry a grudge outside the pitch.â€
The tournaments have built positive relationships between players and encouraged diversity, he said.
â€œFriends were being made. People who didnâ€™t talk to each other, began talking to each other. We had people from different walks of life come together.â€
The TSI fall league tournament takes place every Wednesday at 8 p.m. It began Oct 2. and ends Nov. 3.
Edomobi also coaches Colonel Grey High Schoolâ€™s boys soccer team.