2014 State Farm® Neighbourhood Soccer Volunteer Contest finalists announced

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Canada Soccer and State Farm® are proud to announce the three regional finalists in the 2014 State Farm® Neighbourhood Soccer Volunteer Contest.

The State Farm® Neighbourhood Soccer Volunteer Contest is in its fourth year and was initiated as an opportunity to recognize the dedicated volunteers in local communities who support the sport of soccer.

Residents in Alberta, New Brunswick and Ontario were invited to nominate a soccer volunteer who was making a positive impact in the community.

Nominations were accepted from 2 May 2014 through to 22 August 2014 and submissions came in for volunteers in all roles from youth team coaches, to referees, to club presidents. The nominations were evaluated on the community impact of the volunteer, the content of the contest entry submission, volunteer time contributed and tenure with their community club. Three regional finalists were selected through this process, and from this group of three finalists one national winner will ultimately be chosen by the Canadian public.

From 29 August to 26 September 2014, Canadian residents can vote daily for their favorite Neighbourhood Soccer Volunteer. At the end of this period, the regional finalist with the most votes will claim an ultimate soccer trip for four to watch Canada’s Women’s National Team against reigning FIFA Women’s World Cup champions Japan on 25 October at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, AB. Voting takes place online at canadasoccer.com/statefarm_volunteer

The 2014 State Farm® Neighbourhood Soccer Volunteer Contest regional finalists are:

NEW BRUNSWICK – Sébastien Ruel

Sébastien Ruel has been the club President for Soccer Edmundston over the past 4 years. As a past player, certified coach and referee, Sébastien’s knowledge and passion for the game is evident to all that work closely with him. With a reputation for taking an open and collaborative approach with all stakeholders at Soccer Edmundston, Sébastien considers the needs of his membership with every decision and action taken. Most notably during his time as President at Soccer Edmundston, Sébastien has been influential in attracting a number of corporate sponsors, which has led to improvements in club infrastructure such as the installation of a turf field and the implementation of a new website. Under Sébastien’s tutelage, the club has also hired a full-time technical director, which has resulted in a more player centric approach to player development at all levels.

ONTARIO – Gary Philion

As a coach for both recreational and competitive teams at Ajax SC, Gary Philion has served the club for over 15 plus years. During his outstanding tenure with Ajax SC, Gary has continued to go above and beyond in delivering a positive soccer playing experience for the hundreds of players that he has mentored through the years. In particular, Gary’s strengths in coaching lie in his good character and his ability to teach players through constructive feedback. With a coaching philosophy of putting the needs of the player first, Gary’s practice sessions are always been fun and informative, which has led to many of his players progressing to the elite levels of the game. As an inspirational leader Gary has made an immense contribution to the development of the game in his community for close to two decades.

ALBERTA – Mark Dyck

As the past President and current League Coordinator, Mark Dyck has worn many hats in his 5 plus years of service to the Coaldale District Soccer Association. In addition to his administrative duties, Mark currently coaches recreational and competitive teams, while actively playing for a Men’s team. It is through Mark’s tireless work in promoting the beautiful game to club members and to the wider community that over 400 players have registered to play soccer in a town with a population of just 8000 residents. As indicated through his nomination, Mark’s commitment to soccer in the town of Coaldale has led to many young players to fall in love with the beautiful game.

Congratulations to all the regional finalists who will receive a Canada Soccer National Team prize pack consisting of a Canada National Team Jersey, Canada Soccer Scarf and a $500 Umbro equipment voucher!

Fans that have not yet purchased their tickets for the 25 October match against Japan in Edmonton at Commonwealth Stadium can do so through canadasoccer.com/canWNTvJPN_EDM

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