Calgary, AB,

Diversity Cup celebrates 15 years of soccer

An annual children’s soccer tournament will be celebrating a big milestone this year when the Kiwanis Diversity Cup kicks off for the fifteenth time this weekend.

The tournament is organized in partnership with the Calgary Police Service Diversity Resource Team and KidSport to give kids who do not normally have the opportunity to play organized sport the chance to experience it. The kids get to enjoy a fun team sport while their families can connect with various services in the community.

Usually, over 800 children play in the two-day tournament.

“Sport is such a unifying thing and events like this are a great way for people in the community to connect with their neighbours,” says Constable Kelly Mergen, with the Calgary Police Service Diversity Resource Unit. “It is also nice for us to have a full weekend to interact with the kids and families in a way that shows them police officers are just normal people who enjoy the same activities as they do.”

The tournament helps teach the kids important life skills, like the value of teamwork, communication and leadership. They also get the opportunity to play in a real tournament, complete with a proper field, good equipment and referees.

Thanks to the generous support of KidSport, children who do not have their own soccer equipment can take home the gear they used during the tournament to keep practicing their skills so they will be even better next year.

This year, the Foothills Soccer Club is also lending a player from its Professional Development League team to work with kids on their skills and teamwork. The kids are already familiar with the team as players from the club as well as from the United Women Soccer league have been visiting schools recently to teach the kids about soccer and give them positive soccer role models.

The tournament runs both Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11, 2017, going at 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Forest Lawn Athletic Park.