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.
The annual event in Nanaimo, BC is in it’s sixth year of existence and will be held on Thursday, August 17 at Merle Logan Turf Field from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT.
Whitecaps FC, UBC and VIU players and coaches will attend the event to help coach soccer skills, drills and games. ‘Caps players attending the event include David Ousted, Brek Shea, Erik Hurtado, Tim Parker, Jordan Harvey, Marcel De Jong, Alphonso Davies and Kendall Waston. Everyone’s favourite mascot, Spike will make an appearance as well.
Due to Hope and Health’s success and popularity – in Nanaimo, the event has grown and expanded to the mainland. On July 25th, Whitecaps FC players attended the very successful, second annual Vancouver Hope and Health event.
With the combined events, Hope and Health will reach over 600 children from over 40 First Nation communities, including participation from Musqueam Indian Band, Tsleil-Wautnuth Nation, Squamish Nation, Wewaikai Nation, Cowichan Tribes and also children and youth being serviced through Aboriginal Child and Family Services agencies such as: Kw’umut Lelum Child and Family Services,Lalum’utul’Smun’eem 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.
The upcoming Community Camp Skills and Drills at Merle Logan Turf Field will introduce an evidence based curriculum that develops specific life and leadership skills to address social issues. The event is 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.
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 is open to Aboriginal children and youth ages 5-18. Participants must pre-register at hopeandhealth.org to attend.
Hope and Health (Nanaimo)
Thursday, August 17, 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. PT at Merle Logan Turf Field