Canada Soccer is supporting Fort McMurray’s commitment to keeping Northern Strong as it rebuilds through a donation of sport equipment to the Fort McMurray Youth Soccer Association. The donation includes hundreds of soccer balls and cones, 75 first aid kids, pinnies and some Canada Soccer scarves and mitts.
“We are pleased to be working with our partners to help the people of Fort McMurray heal through sport,” said Canada Soccer General Secretary, Peter Montopoli. “Sport has the power to heal and there is a soccer community within the Fort McMurray community that will benefit from this donation. We applaud the Alberta Soccer Association for their efforts in the community including the hosting of clinics and the waiving of registration fees for the indoor and outdoor soccer seasons.”,
“We are pleased to be partnering with Canada Soccer and Fort McMurray Youth Soccer on this incredible initiative that will help re-energize the soccer program here in Fort McMurray, said Richard Adams, Executive Director for the Alberta Soccer Association. “With the donation from Canada Soccer, and strong leadership in the local association, we are confident that the soccer program in Fort McMurray will be stronger than ever and we look forward to seeing players and coaches enjoying the game throughout the winter months and beyond. “
Fort McMurray has a clear message for Canadians: it is open for business. Establishing a sport infrastructure and building a new ecosystem for sport is a critical step towards fulfilling the dream of seeing Fort McMurray again prosper as a lively community.
In April 2016, the Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo Sport Strategic Plan was finalized and is now being implemented by Fort McMurray Tourism.
“With over $1 billion of sport and recreation infrastructure already in place we are actively pursuing the attraction of sport events to Fort McMurray and we are “open for business” on major sport events, sport related meetings and training camps,” said Jean-Marc Guillamot, Chair of the Board, Fort McMurray Tourism. “Thanks to Canada Soccer and Alberta Soccer Association for their commitment to Fort McMurray and supporting the sport of soccer. As the first national sport organization to commit to providing support following the wildfires, we thank you for honouring that commitment.”
The donation was made official at a media conference in Fort McMurray on 9 November, when local athletes had the opportunity to hear from Canada Soccer Women’s National team goalkeeper, Olympic Bronze medalist and Alberta resident Stephanie Labbe, on achieving your dreams and aspiring to be great at a local clinic. Labbe also had the opportunity to speak at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s National Soccer Championships opening banquet the previous evening and participated in the official coin toss to kick off the tournament.
“I am really thrilled to be part of this event both as an Albertan, but also as a Canadian,” said Labbe. “Seeing the community come together and rebuild is incredibly touching. It’s wonderful to see all the organisations that came together to help ensure these kids get the opportunities that I did and that they too can chase their dreams.”