World Cups Youth Soccer Festival Returns to Lochside Park: A Photo Essay

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A little bit of tongue action never hurts when you are on a breakaway! 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

April 14, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Peninsula Co-Op World Cups Youth Soccer Festival made a triumphant return to Lochside Park in Saanich on Friday morning, as a number of local youth soccer players, all sorted into teams representing various countries from across the world, participated in the opening ceremonies and then began play in the two-day long tournament.

Team Greece and Team Canada prepare to march on the field at the 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Team Greece and Team Canada prepare to march on the field at the 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Players participating in the World Cups Youth Festival – which began in 1986 and is returning for its second straight year after a break in 2015 – are randomly placed into teams based on their age groups and gender. This unique approach makes for a truly memorable event for all participants as it fosters fair play and creates an opportunity for new friendships to grow.

Team Croatia U6/7 Girls team at the 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Team Croatia U6/7 Girls team at the 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Games will be played throughout the day Friday and Saturday with the Strathcona Hotel Charity Classic between Cowichan FC and Gorge Division I Men’s team kicking off on 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 15. The match will be played in support of two charities; MS Kick for the Cure and Answer to Cancer at Lochside Park, with the hopes of raising over $10,000 for those organizations.

Former Canadian National Team soccer player George Pakos was on hand to help open the 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival at Lochside Park on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Former Canadian National Team soccer player George Pakos was on hand to help open the 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival at Lochside Park on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
A team of parachutists dropped in on Lochside Park to present the game ball at the 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
A team of parachutists dropped in on Lochside Park to present the game ball at the 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

ISN photographer Christian J. Stewart was on hand for the opening ceremonies and day one action Friday. Please enjoy this selection of additional images that he captured during the day.

Team Brazil players share a high five following a goal at the 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Team Brazil players share a high five following a goal at the 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
This Team Canada Coach was prepared for sun or rain at the 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival at Lochside Park on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
This Team Canada Coach was prepared for sun or rain at the 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival at Lochside Park on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
A players tests his accuracy at a shooting skill station at the 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
A players tests his accuracy at a shooting skill station at the 2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 World Cups Youth Soccer Festival (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

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