Community Seats - 2020

Whitecaps FC players making a difference with new community programs

VANCOUVER, BC – A trio of Vancouver Whitecaps FC players are leading the way by launching three new programs to support and inspire youth in our community. TYPE 1 UNITED, FUTURE FIRST and JAKE’S HEROES will each provide an exciting and unforgettable in-game experience for kids and their families.
The programs are fully funded and driven by the player and their families, with support from Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
“We are really proud of Andy, Russell, and Jake for taking the initiative to support causes that are meaningful to them,” said Mark Pannes, Whitecaps FC chief executive officer. “This is what being a professional athlete and being a professional club is about, to support your community. They are really setting the standard for professional athletes in Vancouver. We are going to make sure that these experiences are special for everyone.”
At the age of 26, Andy Rose was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. However, that hasn’t prevented him from thriving in his professional soccer career.
In conjunction with Diabetes Canada, Rose’s Type 1 United program will host a child with T1D and their family at each home match, showing them there are no limits to what they can do.
“Living with Type 1 diabetes hasn’t stopped me from reaching my goals,” said Rose. “With the support of Diabetes Canada, I hope to use my role as an athlete to inspire and help others living with this condition.”
After living in Vancouver for more than a decade, Russell Teibert has taken his position as a role model for youth in the local community to heart. His interest and inspiration to work closely with Indigenous communities has grown with each year he’s been in BC.
Teibert’s Future First program will honour and celebrate leadership, character, and resilience in Indigenous youth. Russell will host kids from the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Waututh nations throughout the season.
“I love this city, this province, and the people that make it great,” noted Teibert. “The Coast Salish community is a huge part of what makes it so great. Together we can build a stronger and more empowered future.”
Entering his fourth season in Vancouver, Jake Nerwinski has been a regular visitor to BC Children’s Hospital, creating bonds with a number of youth.
Now, Jake and his fiancée Allison will welcome one special young person and their family to each home match, giving them an experience they won’t forget.
“Allison and I are so excited and honoured to support BC Children’s Hospital this year,” added Nerwinski. “By teaming up with the hospital, we are able to invite children to games so that they can enjoy themselves and take their minds off of whatever they may currently be going through. We are both constantly inspired by the strength that these children show in the face of adversity day in and day out.”
For more information on Whitecaps FC community programs, visit