Three VYS volunteers were recognized by Fairfax County Athletic Council and Neighborhood and Community Services as Champions of Character on Thursday, Oct. 21. Frank Buzek, Meena Rezazad and Bob Zadeh all received awards for going above and beyond in demonstrating good sportsmanship and positive character in youth sports.
Frank Buzek, Parent, Vienna Youth Soccer
As a dedicated volunteer for VYS, Frank Buzek spent countless hours teaching the game to children the right way. Those that came under Frank’s guidance and leadership not only learned about soccer and developed their soccer skills, they also learned about and developed life lessons and skills, such as teamwork, commitment and dedication.
While coaching both his children, Aaron and Emily, in soccer and basketball, Frank focused on learning and applying valuable life lessons through sports – not just winning at all costs. When he was too sick to coach, he continued to attend soccer and basketball games for Aaron and Emily and support them and their teammates. In addition to coaching soccer, Frank was also a devoted basketball coach with VYI, served on the VYS Board of Directors and was a soccer referee.
Throughout his 5 year battle with cancer, Frank always had an infectious, enthusiastic, positive attitude. Frank passed away in January, 2010 and was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. Frank’s acts of volunteerism with VYS over more than seven years touched the lives of hundreds of children in our community, and will continue to affect the lives of those that knew him for years to come. Aaron and Emily Buzek are both in high school and are both currently coaching with VYS.
To honor Frank, his perpetual enthusiasm and positive attitude, his focus on sportsmanship, VYS has instituted an annual "Frank Buzek PCA Coach of the Year Award."
Meena Rezazad has consistently demonstrated the dedication to the soccer community that sets her apart from the norm. When VYS started a TOPSoccer program last fall, she immediately volunteered. (TOPSoccer is The Outreach Program for Soccer and is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl who has a special need.) During the course of each TOPS session, Meena presents material with such ease and humor that she sets the tone for the entire field. Her creative ideas for presentations and activities are inventive and entertaining; they are also astonishingly effective. Meena is also the TOPSoccer Buddy Coordinator, responsible for recruiting 20-25 other volunteers each week to help with the TOPS sessions.
While setting limits, Meena manages to respond consistently with respect and compassion. The experience she provides has a profound effect on the participants and, because of Meena’s exceptional skill and professionalism, she is actively sought by parents and participants alike. Meena administers her duties like a seasoned volunteer although she has held the position for less than a year.
Active leadership driven by example and attitude, rather than assigned position, makes Meena a community leader. She is, quite simply, one of the more remarkable young leaders of Vienna.
Bob Zadeh has been instrumental in establishing the TOPSoccer program at VYS. (TOPSoccer is The Outreach Program for Soccer and is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl who has a special need.) His leadership in Coaches training and TOPSoccer Buddy mentoring has been essential to the initial success of the VYS program. Bob personally wrote the VYS TOPSoccer Coaches Manual and has directed every coaches training session at VYS. Bob has planned every TOPSoccer event and has personally executed every one.
Bob’s attitude and infectious laugh sets the pace and tone of every VYS TOPSoccer event. From set up to tear down Bob is always involved and always leads by example. We could not have handled the growth at VYS TOPSoccer without his tireless efforts and leadership. TOPSoccer participants and volunteers all benefit from his endearing demeanor and infinite patience on the field.
In addition, Bob is Director of Coaching for VYS and has coordinated training sessions for thousands of VYS coaches over the past 5 years. From entry level licenses to goal keeper training, Bob handles all the aspects of coaches training. He is an invaluable resource to VYS and a committed volunteer who also served on the VYS Board of Directors for 5 years.