VIU Mariners soccer teams inspire Aboriginal Youth

July 6th, 2014

VIU Mariners soccer teams inspire Aboriginal Youth

Coaches and players from Vancouver Island University’s men’s and women’s Mariners soccer teams will help teach and inspire more than 400 Aboriginal children about the joy of sport.

Team members will assist Vancouver Whitecaps FC representatives in the 3rd annual Hope and Health skills and drills soccer clinic for Aboriginal youth, taking place today (Wednesday, July 9) at Merle Logan Field in Nanaimo from 10 am to 4 pm.

Representatives from Whitecaps FC will spend the day with Coast Salish youth from 10 First Nations communities on Vancouver Island to engage and motivate them to lead healthy, productive, and confident lives through life skills taught from soccer.

“Whitecaps FC is committed to our communities and grassroots programming at all level,” said Carl Valentine, club ambassador, Vancouver Whitecaps FC. “We simply couldn’t put on the Hope and Health soccer clinics without Vancouver Island University’s 35 players and coaches who volunteer their time to work tirelessly with the kids on skills and drills.”

Hope and Health is an annual event presented by Kw’umut Lelum Child and Family Services, Lalum’utul Smun’eem Aboriginal Child and Family Service Agency, and Whitecaps FC that brings the community together to provide positive experiences for Aboriginal youth. This year’s event theme is Nautsa’mawt: Oneness; working together with one mind, one heart.

The goal is to utilize soccer and mentorship as a vehicle to inspire hope and health with the central Vancouver Island Coast Salish First Nation’s most vulnerable children and youth, including those members currently living in foster care.

In addition to soccer skill development, the movement is about inspiring personal empowerment, finding the courage to be vulnerable, and overcoming adversity, with the belief that through struggles comes strength and wisdom.

Soccer has been popular in Coast Salish nations across generations and is an excellent platform to bring people together to focus on wellness, adds Valentine. It brings together diverse nations, cutting across the economic, geographic and cultural diversity.

Bruce Hunter, Athletic Director for VIU, says the Mariner soccer teams led by Bill Merriman (men’s team) and Anup Kang (women’s team) are proud to assist.

“This is a great example of how the VIU Mariners coaching staff and players are involved in community activities,” said Hunter. “I see this as part of VIU’s mission – to be a good community partner and inspire hope and health in our youth. This is also great experience for our student athletes to be involved in something they can really be proud of.”

Opening ceremonies for Hope and Health 2014 were held Tuesday evening at Nanaimo Port Theatre, with keynote speaker Theo Fleury, a former NHL All-Star, Stanley Cup winner, and Olympic gold medallist.

The Hope and Health movement was co-founded by William Yoachim, former VIU Board Member, Executive Director of Kw’umut Lelum Child and Family Services. Yoachim is also a current Council member for Snuneymuxw.

VIU Mariners soccer teams inspire Aboriginal Youth

Coaches and players from Vancouver Island University’s men’s and women’s Mariners soccer teams will help teach and inspire more than 400 Aboriginal children about the joy of sport.

Team members will assist Vancouver Whitecaps FC representatives in the 3rd annual Hope and Health skills and drills soccer clinic for Aboriginal youth, taking place today (Wednesday, July 9) at Merle Logan Field in Nanaimo from 10 am to 4 pm.

Representatives from Whitecaps FC will spend the day with Coast Salish youth from 10 First Nations communities on Vancouver Island to engage and motivate them to lead healthy, productive, and confident lives through life skills taught from soccer.

“Whitecaps FC is committed to our communities and grassroots programming at all level,” said Carl Valentine, club ambassador, Vancouver Whitecaps FC. “We simply couldn’t put on the Hope and Health soccer clinics without Vancouver Island University’s 35 players and coaches who volunteer their time to work tirelessly with the kids on skills and drills.”

Hope and Health is an annual event presented by Kw’umut Lelum Child and Family Services, Lalum’utul Smun’eem Aboriginal Child and Family Service Agency, and Whitecaps FC that brings the community together to provide positive experiences for Aboriginal youth. This year’s event theme is Nautsa’mawt: Oneness; working together with one mind, one heart.

The goal is to utilize soccer and mentorship as a vehicle to inspire hope and health with the central Vancouver Island Coast Salish First Nation’s most vulnerable children and youth, including those members currently living in foster care.

In addition to soccer skill development, the movement is about inspiring personal empowerment, finding the courage to be vulnerable, and overcoming adversity, with the belief that through struggles comes strength and wisdom.

Soccer has been popular in Coast Salish nations across generations and is an excellent platform to bring people together to focus on wellness, adds Valentine. It brings together diverse nations, cutting across the economic, geographic and cultural diversity.

Bruce Hunter, Athletic Director for VIU, says the Mariner soccer teams led by Bill Merriman (men’s team) and Anup Kang (women’s team) are proud to assist.

“This is a great example of how the VIU Mariners coaching staff and players are involved in community activities,” said Hunter. “I see this as part of VIU’s mission – to be a good community partner and inspire hope and health in our youth. This is also great experience for our student athletes to be involved in something they can really be proud of.”

Opening ceremonies for Hope and Health 2014 were held Tuesday evening at Nanaimo Port Theatre, with keynote speaker Theo Fleury, a former NHL All-Star, Stanley Cup winner, and Olympic gold medallist.

The Hope and Health movement was co-founded by William Yoachim, former VIU Board Member, Executive Director of Kw’umut Lelum Child and Family Services. Yoachim is also a current Council member for Snuneymuxw.

- See more at: http://www2.viu.ca/news/page.asp?ID=2650#sthash.YcgPzEhA.dpuf