Still kicking after all these years

Mar 06, 2003, vol. 26, no. 5
By Carol Thorbes

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His well-tailored suit, articulate speech and genteel manner belie what beats beneath his left lapel - the heart of an ardent soccer player.

Defending goal posts and nurturing soccer teams have been as much a part of Ian Andrews' life at Simon Fraser University as teaching and administration.

Donning soccer boots at age six, SFU's acting dean of education was reared on soccer by his dad in England.

Now a Burnaby resident, Andrews (left) remembers his view of 22 soccer fields from his bedroom window in North London.

“Our house bordered an enormous park,” smiles the education professor. “Dad had his own team and our living room was a locker room. Every weekend I could watch 11 games out my window.”

By age 15 Andrews was in Canada, playing soccer alongside his dad in the Fraser Valley men's league.

Andrews confides the magic of soccer helped him overcome a checkered youth.

“Soccer is so simple and so active,” he explains. “It can really help youth focus. Its universality as a game for people of all ages and sizes makes it a truly international sport.”

It is the game's international flavour that makes Andrews keep his soccer boots packed in his briefcase.

As SFU's director of international teacher education, he travels the globe establishing and promoting educational partnerships between SFU and various institutions.

In his spare time, Andrews scouts out foreign soccer fields with a practice on the go that he can join.

“Soccer is a marvelous international connector,” says the athlete.
Andrews' love of soccer inspired him to help establish a soccer club at SFU in 1966. John Buchanan, a co-founder of the club, former varsity soccer coach and now varsity golf coach at SFU, remembers Andrews as a 22-year-old, lanky, long-haired guy.

“Ian was always really articulate,” says Buchanan in a thick Scottish brogue. “It was people like Ian who had the skill to get SFU's administration interested in our proposals for a soccer club, which evolved into our varsity program, an alumni club and intramural indoor soccer.”

Dave Elligott, current coach of men's varsity soccer, credits Andrews with helping to take SFU's soccer teams to the top.

“Ian's financial support and guidance is now helping the varsity team return to its glory days in the mid-1980s.”

The president of SFU's Clan alumni club and a player on the alumni over-35 team, Andrews prides himself on being a respectable defence player after 52 years of kicking the ball around.

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