This coming Sunday, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will welcome new members of our community to Thunderbird Stadium. In partnership with the Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC), S.U.C.C.E.S.S., and MOSAIC, the ‘Caps have donated 500 tickets to new immigrants and refugees.
ISSofBC provides services to help immigrants and refugees get settled, find careers, and learn all they need know about starting their new lives in Canada. The mandate of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is to promote the well being of Canadians and immigrants, and to encourage their participation in the community. MOSAIC is a multilingual service with a similar mantra, to support and empower immigrant and refugee communities.
All three organizations are ecstatic to connect their services through the sport of soccer. Guests will not only enjoy professional soccer, but also experience the unique festival atmosphere of WFC2 games, which includes this weekend’s special theme night of a post-match show from AcroFire Entertainment.
“Soccer is the most popular sport in the world," said Saleem Spindari, manager of refugee settlement support projects for MOSAIC. "I am glad that Whitecaps FC are extending the invitation to refugees to attend. Canadians have supported refugees in various ways and this is an additional way to welcome newcomers into our communities.”
Whitecaps FC 2 head coach Alan Koch also sees the value in this initiative, having traversed continents to play at Simon Fraser University when he moved from South Africa to Vancouver.
“I think it’s amazing to give this opportunity to people that are new to Canada,” said Koch. “For people that come from other countries, coming to a local sporting event is a nice way to help embrace the community we all live in together.”
Diversity is nothing new to Koch, nor anyone who plays or enjoys the game. He and wife Amy embrace new entrants to our country and have their names down on a volunteer list to assist refugee families coming to Canada.
“Vancouver is such a multicultural environment and our sport has global appeal,” added Koch. “I think the nice thing about coming to a game is that the love of the game is something that lots of people have in common. We need not share the same language or culture, but the game can bring us all together. Hopefully an experience like this can help new immigrants in adjusting to the Canadian landscape.”
This year, every Tier 1 ‘Caps Club MLS membership includes three open tickets to WFC2 matches. Members can select their matches and theme days online through Account Manager. Information on theme days is available at whitecapsfc.com/wfc2/themedays.
Youth season passes are also available for $30 all in. For more information contact email@example.com or call 604-484-7862.