Smiles and laughter from many excited children filled Sportstown Sports Complex on the afternoon of March 17, where Whitecaps FC players, club mascot, alumni, and staff participated in a fun filled sports day in support of children with Autism.
‘Caps midfielder Gershon Koffie, defender Greg Klazura, and forward Tom Heinemann, joined players from the Vancouver Canucks, BC Lions, and Vancouver Canadians at the first annual sports day which united all four professional sports teams for the first time under one roof.
100 excited children and families from the Canucks Autism Network (CAN) spent time with players from each team at their sports stations batting balls, throwing footballs, slapping hockey pucks, and kicking around the soccer ball. At the ‘Caps station, former player Sam Lenarduzzi, and club Ambassador Carl Valentine helped coach the children as they dribbled the ball through cones, learned passing skills, and took shots on net.
While practicing their soccer skills the children also had the chance to get tips from ‘Caps players, and more than a few laughs from club mascot Spike.
“This is the reason a lot of us do what we do, to be able to give back,” said Heinemann. “It is a passion of mine to work with kids, I love working with them!”
“It is great for the community,” said Klazura. “It is always good to do something that is not for you, and those are reasons why we do it.”
After a great day, and the chance to forge some unforgettable memories, the ‘Caps are already looking forward to participating in next year’s event.
For more pictures and tweets on the event check out Whitecaps FC's storify at: http://storify.com/WhitecapsFC/caps-in-the-community-can-sports-day