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Burnaby Sport Park was filled with more than 1,200 young soccer players during the Easter long weekend competing in the first SX Easter Invitational, presented by Sport Burnaby.
Approximately 80 boys and girls teams from the Lower Mainland, other parts of B.C. and Alberta took part in the tournament. They competed in various categories including U10, U12, U13 and U14 (development and premier teams) over three days.
“With top facilities and local expertise, Burnaby Sport Park is a great place to host this type of tournament,” said Chris Murphy, managing director of E11even Management Inc. “Burnaby knows what we need to stage a event of this magnitude and we were happy with the outcome – providing a well-organized, professionally-managed amateur sport experience for the participants.”
He added tournament organizers, with the support of Sport Burnaby and the City of Burnaby, were able to deliver what he called a “boutique event” for everyone involved. “Having great contacts in Burnaby who understand our goals for this type of tournament really helps,” said Murphy.
This was the first soccer tournament of its kind in Burnaby for this age group at this time of the year – a big event with so many teams all at one venue. And based on its success, organizers are looking at ways to incorporate this tournament into the spring competition calendar next year.
All games were played at Burnaby Sport Park (Field Complex West). More details about the SX Easter Invitational are available here.
From training players headed for Canada’s national teams to hosting games with squads from around the world, the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club is doing everything it can to draw more attention to and grow the sport.
“I would say awareness is on the rise,” according to Club president Simon Smoldon. “We have instilled a strong culture here by supporting our athletes and doing all we can to keep people involved.” Hosting games with international teams is an important part of the effort to promote the sport to local audiences. “We always like to host,” added Smoldon following recent Saturday afternoon game with the College Rifles, a visiting team from Auckland, New Zealand. “We do rugby right, here, is what we say.”
Chris Tautinaga, Director of rugby for the College Rifles, called the Burnaby fields and facilities “awesome.” He appreciated the opportunity for his development team members to get more experience as they move forward in their playing careers. And, to do that in places such as Burnaby, is ideal. “It’s a beautiful setting here with the mountains behind us,” adding that many team members have never been anywhere outside of Auckland.
Smoldon said “with so many other distractions,” in the urban environment of the Lower Mainland, “people can find other things to do.” That’s why his Club is always looking for ways to keep the focus on drawing more attention to the sport.
He points to the growing interest in rugby with a large crowd of more than 29,000 fans at BC Place Stadium in early November to watch a game between New Zealand Māori and Team Canada. That game set a new attendance mark for a single rugby match in Canada.
On Wednesday, June 21st, hundreds came out to Civic Square for Burnaby’s second annual National Aboriginal Day Celebration. This special event held every year in communities across Canada highlights the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The Burnaby celebration was organized by a coalition of community partners, including Burnaby Neighbourhood House, Burnaby School District, Burnaby Public Library, City of Burnaby, Burnaby Village Museum, Spirit of the Children Society, Burnaby Art Gallery, and local parents.
The afternoon portion of the event was dedicated to Burnaby elementary school students who participated in a variety of activities. Children rotated through several stations run by the Burnaby School District’s Aboriginal Education team and community partners. Some of the highlights included carving with First Nations artist Jackie Timothy, learning how to play lacrosse, and story time with Indigenous children’s author Lisa Lewis.
The free, family-friendly evening event started with a traditional welcome by Tsleil-Waututh Nation member Carleen Thomas. Bob Baker and Spakwus Slolem (translated as “Eagle Song Dancers”) of the Squamish Nation performed traditional Coast Salish singing, dancing and drumming. Dallas Yellowfly of the Siksika First Nation entertained with his comedic antics, inviting audience members to get on stage with him to tell the story of the Raven Steals the Sun. Finally, DJ Mukluk from Daka Dene (Wet’suwet’en) closed the event, mixing new beats and rhythms from the expanding world of Indigenous electronic music, with four-year dancer Aryon Jack performing on stage.
During the evening event, the public enjoyed face painting, art activities with Burnaby Art Gallery, the Burnaby Public Library’s Pop Up Library, and learning about local Indigenous history with Burnaby Village Museum staff member Carleen Thomas. Not to be missed was the delicious stew and bannock prepared by Lucas Noel of Spirit of the Children and Laura Ward’s family, and served by Burnaby Neighbourhood House volunteers. All in all, it was a great event on a beautiful sunny day that brought together a diverse cross-section of Burnaby residents. The organizers are committed to ensuring Burnaby’s National Aboriginal Day celebration becomes a regular annual event that helps strengthen community well-being through shared cultural experiences. See you next year on June 21st!
The 20th annual European Festival was held at Swangard Stadium on May 27-28, 2017. There was a variety of festival attendees in-tow from young to the young at heart, an emphasis on the family-friendly culture that the EuroFest BC Society has cultivated in the nature of the festival.
This exciting weekend included cultural and culinary delights and rich entertainment that highlighted the best of European, culture and tradition. Attendees savoured it all – from German Pork Hock and Hungarian Lángos to Balkan Ćevapi and Turkish Kofte, while entertainment included traditional dancing like the Portuguese Vira, the Spanish Flamenco and the Serbian Kolo.