'Caps launch KickSmart School program

Vancouver Whitecaps FC announce a partnership with Save-On-Foods to visit over 45 schools in the province of British Columbia and provide elementary school-aged kids with free soccer demonstrations this spring and fall. The Save-On-Foods Whitecaps KickSmart School program will reach up to 20,000 youth in BC by promoting the connection between soccer and healthy living with demonstrations that emphasize soccer skills, teamwork, healthy active living, and the importance of good nutrition. "The Whitecaps have a strong commitment to youth development and community initiatives, and we believe our players have a responsibility as role models to help youth become active, healthy individuals, as well as develop a multitude of skills,” said Whitecaps director of youth development Dan Lenarduzzi. "By partnering with like-minded community organizations like Save-On-Foods, we are able to bring our players into the community with no cost to the schools, and at the same time, help grow the sport and active living." Elementary school students will enjoy a 45-minute indoor demonstration by Canadian Sports Hall-Of-Fame inductee and former Whitecaps player Sam Lenarduzzi, as well as two current Whitecaps players (male and female). During the demonstration, there will be an opportunity for selected students to attempt the skills, while being encouraged by their peers and assisted by the professionals. The program’s primary objective is to help raise awareness of and increase participation in the sport of soccer. To achieve this locally, the Whitecaps and Save-On-Foods have partnered with local youth soccer clubs in BC communities. Club representatives and Save-On-Foods store managers will be participating in the demonstrations. This partnership is aligned with Save-On-Foods' support of the BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program - a classroom-based initiative that helps BC kids learn about the benefits of eating local fresh fruits and vegetables. Students will also be provided with a Save-On-Foods Whitecaps SmartGuide, which is full of soccer-related tips and activities, as well as tips for healthy eating and active living. Please visit the Whitecaps website at whitecapsfc.com/youth for more information. About Save-On-Foods Save-On-Foods is part of the Overwaitea Food Group (OFG), which operates more than 115 stores under the Save-On-Foods, Overwaitea Foods, Cooper’s Foods, Urban Fare, PriceSmart Foods, and Bulkley Valley Wholesale banners, and employs nearly 16,000 people. OFG is the largest Western-based Canadian food store chain, and has been in operation for more than 90 years, with its first store originally located in New Westminster. About Vancouver Whitecaps FC The Whitecaps kicked off their inaugural season in 1974 as members of the North American Soccer League. Since then, the club has captured the NASL Soccer Bowl in 1979, won four straight Canadian Soccer League championships from 1988 to 1991, and more recently, won United Soccer Leagues First Division titles in 2006 and 2008. The Whitecaps are a fully integrated club, which include senior men's and women's teams, full-time residency programs, as well as an extensive youth development system. For more information on Vancouver Whitecaps FC, visit whitecapsfc.com.