In June 2016, 25 street soccer players and coaches departed from Covenant House in the wee hours and headed to Horseshoe Bay to catch a ferry to the Island, eventually, to Alert Bay and June Sports.
Our vans were jammed with freshly prepared meals made by our friends at Temple Sholom, rental camping gear and enough snacks to power a small army. Spirits were high even with the early start.
Over the next four days, we camped, cooked, and experienced powerful cultural ceremonies in the tiny community of Alert Bay. During our trip we witnessed the Salmon Prince and Princess cultural competition in the community’s Big House, participated in an incredible feast held by the local chief to celebrate the graduation of his child and grandchildren, and were included in a smudging ceremony by one of Alert Bay’s respected community members.
On the soccer field, the men played exceptionally well in both games.
Despite losing both games, they kept their heads held high and spirits positive. Our attitude and energy was noticed. On the final day of our visit, the Vancouver Street Soccer League was honoured with the tournament’s fair play award. This was a big deal and we got a rousing cheer from everyone on the field. Three trophies were handed out to our very excited players. All 5 of our women joined a team and played 4 games in 2 days – sore muscles to say the least!
The men were at every game to cheer on their female team members. None of these incredible experiences could have happened without your support. We want to thank the organizations who donated to us (including LUSH Cosmetics, Vancity Credit Union, the Southsiders, UBC Medicine students, Sportcheck, Arcteryx, Fairware) as well as our many fantastic individual donors.
You’re contributions and your ongoing support made this trip possible. We can’t tell you enough how important this trip is to our players and how much they get out of it.
From all of us at the VSSL, thank you for the amazing support! Can’t wait until next year.