Every year, the ‘Namgis First Nation hosts an invitation-only soccer tournament during the June Father’s Day weekend. The tournament takes place on the beautiful, rugged island of Alert Bay, which is about a 10-hour drive and boat ride from Vancouver.
For the past four years, the Vancouver Street Soccer League has been invited to and attended the tournament. It has proven to be profound and life-changing for many of our league’s members. The village parade and traditional longhouse ceremonies that kick off the tournament resonate deeply with many of our players, particularly those who rarely leave the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. Check out this video of our first trip:
For our players who are struggling with mental illness or living in shelters, the long trip up-island, natural beauty of Alert Bay and scenic boat-rides, can be particularly refreshing and rejuvenating. For all of our players and volunteers, the camaraderie forged on the soccer field or at the camping site while dining over communal meals after a hard fought match, makes this trip a highlight of the year. Read more about last year’s highlights here and read an article in The Guardian News covering the trip here.
This year, we’ve been invited to Alert Bay for June Sports with a new set of players eager to experience this amazing trip. Our plan is to send a full team and accompanying volunteers for the five day trip.
We’ll need to send approximately 22 people up island for the tournament, which is not an inexpensive endeavor. In order to pay for food, fuel, gifts for elders, car rentals, camping gear, registration fees and the ferry ride there and back we’ll need to raise $10,000.
Help us to send our players to June Sports by making a donation!