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Indigenous B.C. boys soccer team takes shot at $10K fundraiser

Eighteen soccer players representing First Nations across British Columbia are headed to the 2023 North American Indigenous Games in July, and they’re looking for support.
The Team BC U16 boys soccer players are raising money for the competition at the 2023 North American Indigenous Games in Halifax, N.S. Photo Alistair Berg/DigitalVision/Getty Images.

This year’s North American Indigenous Games are fast approaching, and Team BC’s U16 boys’ soccer team is hosting a Wine and Libations fundraiser to support their efforts getting there.

The team of 18 Indigenous soccer players, representing Nations from across the province, will compete against Indigenous athletes from all over North America.

Team manager Gene Gallant described the U16 team as a group of skilled, offensive players.

“We’re a skill team that likes to attack,” Gallant told the NOW.

The athletes will head to NAIG in Halifax this year, which will be hosted July 15 to 23, and the team is looking for support to get there.

On June 9 at the Burnaby FC Clubhouse, you can sip on a sampling of B.C.’s best wines, with some of the most popular wine vendors in attendance.

“While the Team BC program is supported by the Province of B.C., there is still a financial burden to the athletes to participate at NAIG,” Gallant said in a news release.

“Participation includes team fee, training, travel and accommodation expenses. As these expenses are the responsibility of the athlete and their family; any financial or in-kind assistance provided by community members, organizations or local businesses is very much welcomed.”

The team’s goal is to raise $10,000 in a short time period, according to the release, and the team also has a GoFundMe page.

Team BC, coordinated by the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council, is sending a total of 535 Indigenous athletes and coaches to NAIG, who will be competing in more than a dozen sports.

Wine and Spirit Night Fundraiser for Team BC U16 boys soccer

When: Friday, June 9 from 7 to 10 p.m.
Where: Burnaby FC Clubhouse (6159 Curtis St.)
Cost: $50 plus fees, tickets available on Eventbrite