'Caps connecting with Aboriginal communities at Hope and Health

Hope and Health - Spike and kid

Vancouver Whitecaps FC players are participating in Hope and Health, Changing Lives One Goal At a Time.

Hope and Health is an annual event that utilizes soccer to build resilience and connection amongst Aboriginal children and youth. More than just an event, Hope and Health is a movement to inspire hope, as well as improve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and life conditions for Aboriginal children and youth.

Hope and Health began in Nanaimo, BC six years ago. This year marks the second year that Hope and Health will hold two events. The second annual Vancouver event will take place on Tuesday, July 25 at Musqueam Park, while the Nanaimo event will be held on Wednesday, August 16 at Beban Park.

Over 600 children are expected to attend from over 40 First Nation communities, including participation from Musqueam Indian Band, Tsleil-Wautnuth Nation, Squamish Nation and also children and youth being serviced through Aboriginal Child and Family Services agencies such as: Kw’umut Lelum Child and Family Services, Usma Child and Family Services, Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society, Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society and Northwest Inter-Nation Family and Community Services Society as well as the Ministry for Children and Family Development.

At both events, Whitecaps FC, UBC and VIU players and coaches will host soccer skills, drills, and games. The upcoming Community Camp Skills and Drills at Musqueam will introduce an evidence based curriculum that develops specific life and leadership skills to address social issues, a joint venture between Hope and Health and Coaches Across Continents that will lead to a pilot of local weekly camps across three Aboriginal communities this coming fall.

The Vancouver event on Tuesday, July 25 will see appearances by Whitecaps FC players David Ousted, Kendall Waston, Brek Shea, Tim Parker, Russell Teibert, Jordan Harvey, David Edgar, Alphonso Davies, Cole Seiler and Spencer Richey. Spike, the Whitecaps FC mascot, will also make a special appearance.

This year’s events will be presented in partnership with the Hope and Health For Life Society, Musqueam Indian Band and Kw'umut Lelum Child and Family Service Agency.

In 2014, Bill Yoachim, the Executive Director of Kw'umut Lelum was nominated as Whitecaps FC’s Community MVP and went on to win the league-wide contest. As a result, $10,000 was donated to directly to children and youth to participate in Hope and Health. The last five years of Hope and Health have been hugely successful, engaging over 1,200 Aboriginal children and youth in soccer since the inaugural event.

Hope and Health events are open to Aboriginal children and youth ages 5-18. Participants must pre-register at to attend.

Hope and Health (Vancouver)
Tuesday, July 25, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. PT at Musqueam Park

Hope and Health (Nanaimo)
Wednesday, August 16, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. PT at Merle Logan, Beban Park