Starting from a young age, Jackie has always been very enthusiastic about soccer. She began playing House League at age eight and continued until she was sixteen. Jackie’s love for playing soccer would continue and develop into an even stronger passion for watching it! One of Jackie’s favourite pastimes is watching Arsenal FC play in the English Premier League and it is a dream of hers to go to the Emirates Stadium in London to watch them play live. Jackie believes it is very important to find fun, engaging ways for young children to stay active, and NUTMEG does just that!
Arriving to Canada from Europe in 2002, Jeton has been watching and playing soccer his entire life. Most often playing as a midfielder, you can find him dribbling his way through Toronto in organized leagues and pick-up games. Although he has a special place in his heart for his favourite club Arsenal, Jeton supports any team that is able to put on a show and play a good, fair game. Jeton believes that physical activity becomes increasingly more important as we age, and also believes that involvement in organized sports at a young age can create healthy habits that last a lifetime. He also believes that soccer is a special sport that has the ability to empower kids with a unique set of social skills such as teamwork, communication, and patience. Inspired by the NUTMEG mission, Jeton hopes to make a positive impact in the community by sharing his experience and knowledge with the future generation of Canadian soccer stars.
Sarah has been playing soccer since she learned to walk and grew up watching Christine Sinclair and Kara Lang pave new roads for Canadian women’s soccer. Raised in Victoria, BC, Sarah was lucky enough to be able to play outdoor soccer year round (and learned to love playing in the rain!). She played competitive soccer to the end of high school and coached a young girls team in her spare time. Sarah switched to recreational leagues when she went to university and plays when she can in Toronto. She is thrilled to be a part of the Nutmeg family and help children find joy and empowerment in the beautiful game of soccer.
Kelsey has been playing soccer since childhood, though for the first few years she was more interested in picking dandelions on the field than kicking a ball around. She played through high school at a competitive level, and currently plays in recreational leagues in Toronto. Kelsey has also volunteered for many years with youth in Kingston and the GTA, ranging from teaching assistance in elementary classrooms to developing middle schoolers’ cognitive skills. Kelsey know that sports can have a hugely positive impact and loves that NUTMEG leverages the transformative power of soccer to promote teamwork and develop young leaders.
Marco has been a huge fan of soccer and have been playing since he was 6 years old. He loves everything about soccer, the drama, the rivalries, the increasingly – insane transfer windows that are taking place nowadays, the friendship it builds by meeting new people that are also in love with the sport. As a volunteer with NUTMEG he enjoys coaching children. Primarily, Marco is a goalkeeper and won a XTSC competitive league with Toronto Soccer Connection United in 2015 at the Lamport stadium. He is also a full time student at George Brown, aiming to complete the college’s three-year Human Resources program.
Soccer, or football, has been a part of Niamh’s life since she can remember- the first song her dad taught her was the Chelsea FC song! And yes, she’ve been a fan of both soccer and Chelsea ever since. Niamh have played since she was four in House League, Rep, and high school levels. While Niamh hasn’t coached soccer before, she has coached swimming to children of various ages for almost 10 years. Niamh looks forward to combining that experience with her love for soccer at NUTMEG!
Mustafa grew up in Kenya, and growing up would much rather have been playing Soccer than be doing anything else. He feels strongly that participating in sporting activities, especially at a young age, builds valuable life skills for later in life. As such, he is a big believer in NUTMEG’s mission and goals.
Victoria’s passion for soccer began at 10 years old when she first joined the Toronto Eagles Soccer Club. Playing at a house league level for the first two years, her admiration and skill for the sport got her a spot on the rep team. She continued playing soccer on her high school team, and her passion for the game still runs through her blood as she still loves to play and watch soccer. Victoria believes in giving children equal opportunities and watching them live out to their full potential. She loves giving back to the community that she lives in and is also a strong believer in NUTMEG’s missions and values. Victoria will always encourage the NUTMEG kids to work as hard as they can, so they fulfill not only their soccer skills, but to live out to their potential.
Ehsan (Sunny) Abdi
Sunny will play soccer anywhere, with anyone, at anytime. He has played soccer since he was a young boy. First in the sands of the Middle East, then the grass of Europe, and finally the turf of Canada. Along the way, Sunny even organized his university soccer team as a player/coach. Sunny plays as a centre defender, where he utilizes his tackling, heading, positioning, and leadership skills. He will teach young players how to stop an opponent from scoring goals. But he will also teach youngsters how to put the ball in the back of the net! However the main skills Sunny promotes to young NUTMEG participants are teamwork and a passion to improve. Put them together and your potential is endless.
A couple of Sunny’s favourite quotes are:
“Many people say I’m the best women’s soccer player in the world. I don’t think so. And because of that, someday I just might be.” (Mia Hamm)
“I am not a perfectionist, but I like to feel that things are done well. More important than that, I feel an endless need to learn, to improve, to evolve, not only to please the coach and the fans, but also to feel satisfied with myself. It is my conviction that here are no limits to learning, and that it can never stop, no matter what our age.” (Cristiano Ronaldo)
Marwa first found her passion for soccer in 2005 while living in Dhahran Aramco, Saudi Arabia, where she played recreationally among other girls of her age. Within a few years, she joined a more competitive league and traveled to Sweden and Denmark to compete in international youth tournaments including Gothia Cup and Dana Cup. Upon graduating from high school, she moved to Cairo, Egypt and played for two years with a club that competed in the Women’s Premiere League in Egypt. Since moving to Canada, Marwa has played on the University of Toronto Tri-Campus team, and more recently joined an organized league in Toronto. Marwa loves to interact and work with the NUTMEG children because of their youthful energy and love for the sport, and is proud to be a part of such an organization that fosters a genial and supportive environment for a healthy and fun activity.
Hunter grew up in Hamilton Ontario, played club soccer with Hamilton Sparta and trained with the OSA. Hunter coached soccer at his high school and currently is the Goalkeeper coach at USC Academy. Hunter works as a personal trainer and fitness coach, and loves to combine his knowledge of the two to bring out the best in athletes. Hunter joined NUTMEG excited by the programming it provides for children. He brings his passion for sports, the ability to create a positive and fun learning space, as well as experience coaching goal keepers.
Quote: Tell me I’ll forget, show me I’ll remember, involve me and I’ll learn – Benjamin Franklin
Jinny’s first debut on the soccer field was at around the age of 8 when she joined FC Chaboom, founded and coached by Cha Bum-kun, the first Korean player to enter Germany’s Bundesliga, and a living legend to this day. During her time in the academy in Seoul, Korea, Jinny was able to develop and polish her skills during practices but was never allowed to prove her skills during actual matches because their regulations did not allow female players on the field. Outraged and disappointed by the lack of support for female athletes, Jinny and her parents decided to immigrate to Vancouver, BC, where there was a plethora of opportunities for soccer players to grow regardless of their gender. She is currently studying neuroscience at the University of Toronto with the hopes of helping patients who are suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. On the side, she is also working on Startup projects that deal with medical aids and devices that are easily accessible to the general public at low costs. She recently joined NUTMEG to not only share her love for soccer, but also provide opportunities for children to find out what they are passionate about, and draw their own dreams regardless of the path the society tells them to take. Jinny plans on inviting guest speakers to talk about gender equality, environmental sustainability, and other overlooked health concerns such as imbalanced diets and concussions so these children can grow to appreciate their bodies and live their lives to the fullest.
Amith breathes soccer. It consumes every waking second of his being and when not obsessing over every Manchester United game on TV, he can be found representing TSC United in the TSSL Premier Division. His love for the game stems from the sense of competition it develops, the camaraderie it instills and life skills it inculcates. And the fun. Oh so much fun!!
Amith joined NUTMEG as he believes in the program’s ability to impart the joy of soccer to the under-served youth who previously couldn’t afford it. Amith graduated with an MBA in Finance and Marketing from McGill University and Paul Scholes, the greatest footballer of all time, is his footballing hero.
Antoine was born and raised in a football environment in France. The love story with soccer truly began when he started to play at the age of 6. He watched Zidane and the national team won its first world cup at home in 98, then the Euro championship in 2000. Even if his model as a football player was Zizou, he also had a great affection for Il Fenomeno Ronaldo. Season ticket holder during several years in the late 2000’s, he is still loyal to to his hometown (eternal loser) team: Rennes. At the European level, he fell in love with the invincibles of Arsenal. Probably something in common between those teams… After almost 20 years spent on the football pitches in France, he played 1 year in New-Zealand. Arrived in Canada in 2015, he played for Sanjaxx soccer in League1 Ontario. Now “retired” of competitive soccer, he enjoys pick-up games with friends around the city. Strongly believing in soccer and its values, he joined NUTMEG to share his passion with the kids.
Darran Mc Nulty
Darran, originally from the Republic of Ireland, brings a bag full of knowledge and passion for the game to each NUTMEG session. Having played at a relatively high level in Ireland and boasting stints in the Premier level of Toronto Services Social League (TSSL) and Ontario Soccer League (OSL), it is safe to say Darran has plenty of playing experience. Darran is now focusing on coaching after a number of injuries. He has previously coached track and field athletics to all ages in Ireland, which helped develop his comfort and enjoyment working with kids. Darran cannot wait to pass on his wisdom to the eager NUTMEG kids!!
Ibrahim D. Kante
Born and raised in France, Ibrahim came to Canada with soccer as his most precious baggage. He started to practice soccer since the age of 7 in a country where soccer is the number one sport by far. Ibrahim spends most of his time playing, watching and studying the beautiful game. Teaching soccer is now his main goal and he will be happy to give back what he has learned overtime with great pleasure. Ibrahim believes in what NUTMEG is trying to accomplish by providing free soccer to kids and help them learn important life skills while having fun and maybe become the soccer aficionados of tomorrow.
Rafa is passionate about soccer and its role as a tool for empowering young people. Born in Brazil, he grew up seeing soccer not only as an sport, but also as a vehicle for social change since most of the national best players in Brazil come from low income communities. Rafa has a bachelor in Marketing and Advertising and runs Girls Have Game, a YouTube channel focused on promoting women’s soccer. Fave team is Portland Thorns (women’s).