A heartwarming end to 2015: A year in review

By Mariah Wilson | December 28, 2015

We ended an exciting year for the club on a very high note. Students apart of the Me to We club at Strathmore High School (SHS) organized a Christmas party for children and supervisors alike to enjoy on Saturday, December 19th. A light dusting of snow fell as SHS students arrived in their big yellow school bus with goodies and presents – the spirit of the holidays could not be contained. Having been dismissed from school the day previous for winter break and with Christmas day less than a week away, there was an electric buzz of energy among the participants.

While the SHS students made hot chocolate and set up their stations, one last soccer match was played amongst our participants in the gymnasium. Their cries of delight and laughter were infectious for anyone who watched. The fun continued as our participants were rotated from a gingerbread decorating station to a “dance your socks off” station then to several others, with hot chocolate breaks and storytelling sessions interjected throughout. The big surprise came when Santa Clause made a visit from the North Pole to give each child a package filled with chocolate and winter gear. Soccer Without Boundaries would like to extend a huge thank you to the students of SHS who organized and ran this Christmas party, and we hope that in the coming years it becomes an annual event!

Looking back on 2015, we have some rather notable events to reflect on. During our soccer camp, we received many generous donations that allowed every child to take home a memorable t-shirt and water bottle. With over eighty participants ranging in age from four to eighteen, this was a huge feat. At the end of the summer, we received a donation of eight bikes from “friends of the organization” that wished to remain anonymous. This is a huge asset to our club during the warmer months to allow more children to have the means of getting not only to their Soccer Without Boundaries practices but to their other commitments as well.

In September,  Will Ferguson released his highly anticipated novel “Road Trip to Rwanda,” featuring his travels throughout Rwanda with our founder, Jean-Claude Munyezamu. Our year finished with a Christmas party enjoyed by all in attendance, and on Christmas Eve we received news that our organization is in the works of becoming a charity! We cannot wait to see what 2016 has in store for Soccer Without Boundaries, as well as the opportunities for each and every one of our participants.

Summer soccer camp 2015: A recap

By Mariah Wilson | July 25, 2015

Several years since the soccer camp made its first debut, it has become an annual tradition that children look forward to during their summer holidays. This year’s camp took place from July 20th-24th, hosting over 80 participants whose ages ranged from pre-school to high school. Even though the age groups were split up across three fields, you could hear a constant backdrop of coaches encouraging players to try their hardest, leaders sharing inside jokes with their groups, and the whistle announcing a new drill every few minutes.

While the younger age groups enjoyed learning about the sport while creating new friends who shared similar tastes in snacks, the older age groups were able to hone their skills with trainer Calvin Quadros. Before heading abroad to coach in Europe during August, Quadros commented that his role within the camp was a highlight of his summer since he was able “to see the players increase their skillset and gameplay.” Many of the leaders are previous participants of the camp who want to give back to a program that they greatly enjoyed when they were younger.

At the wind-up BBQ hosted during the afternoon of Friday, July 24th, participants and volunteers reminisced about their week and shared some of their highlights with one another. A highlight for one of the camp leaders was being able to “see [her] group have fun and get comfortable [with one another].” I think she spoke on behalf of the leaders as she shared how her group came together as a tight-knit group of friends by the end of the week. But the participants had a much stronger appreciation for the “snacks,” “scrimmaging with their friends,” and “the party at the end of the week.”

We would like to extend a huge thank you to the Mary A. Tidlund Charitable Foundation and Bubbles Car Wash for their generation donations. Not only will participants get to take home numerous memories from their experience at soccer camp, but each participant will be able to keep a soccer ball, t-shirt, and water bottle.

At the moment, the summer soccer camp takes place in only one location in SW Calgary, but organizers are hoping to expand the program to reach all four quadrants of the city.

 

All of the other sponsors of the summer soccer camp include:

  • Brother’s Pizza and Donair
  • Bubbles Car Wash
  • Calaway Park
  • Chianti Restaurant
  • Chop Steakhouse & Bar
  • Cineplex
  • CO-OP (Richmond location)
  • DQ (Lakeview location)
  • Earl’s Restaurant
  • Famoso Neapolitan Pizza
  • The Glamorgan Bakery
  • Heritage Park
  • Humpty’s
  • Joey’s Only (17th Ave. location)
  • KFC
  • Laser Quest
  • Lemon Garden
  • Mary A. Tidlund Charitable Foundation
  • Montana’s Cookhouse
  • Mountainview Bowl
  • Moxie’s Grill & Bar (Southport location)
  • National Restaurant
  • Olive Garden
  • Phoenix Grill
  • Play It Again Sports (Westhills location)
  • Safeway (Aspen, Westbrook, and Westhills locations)
  • Shakers Fun Centre
  • Shoppers Drug Mart (Westhills location)
  • Starbucks (Marda Loop location)
  • Superstore (Signal Hill location)
  • Swiss Chalet
  • Tandoori Palace
  • TD Bank
  • Teaspoon Persian Cuisine
  • Tony Roma’s