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A rocker for street soccer

Sarah Blyth
Apr 6th, 2010

A Rocker For Street Soccer is a fundraising event held Thursday, April 15th for Portland FC, a team of players recruited from Downtown Eastside shelters.

The team started with a core group from the New Fountian Homless Shelter in the spring of 2009 and has grown into weekly practices ever since. One of the highlights so far was the game against City Hall and the Park Board. Even competing against soccer legends like Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors Andrea Reimer and George Chow, Portland FC still won 6 – 5.

Since then, the team has competed against other teams in the Vancouver Street Soccer League.
A Rocker for Street Soccer will feature local bands including Mezamazing and Boogie Monster as well as wrestlers, street performers, free food, a silent auction and more. The event will raise funding for uniforms and equipment as well as travel expenses for the team.

Vancouver Park Board Celebrates the Coming of the Paralympic Games

Sarah Blyth
Mar 8th, 2010

Sebastian Chuncho Blyth and friends enjoy the events at Kitsilano Community Centre.

I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 community happenings event yesterday at Kitsilano Community Centre. It was a fun, free, family event held to celebrate the recent Winter Olympics and the upcoming Paralympic Games.

It served as a reminder that the Paralympics will be here in six short days when the Paralympic Torch arrives in Vancouver. Park Board staff put together a fantastic day to celebrate. Kids at the community centre met Sumi, made buttons, participated in sports, held the torch, met Olympians. The event provided great entertainment for the whole family.  

The Park Board staff will host one more event like this which will take place at Killarney Community Centre on Sunday, March 21st.

Allen Garr, Heather Tremain and Virginia Weiler Run for Vancity Board of Directors

Sarah Blyth
Feb 26th, 2010

Heather Tremain, Alan Garr and Virgina Weiler.

It's not often that a politician writes about a reporter. Usually it’s the other way around. But when a reporter starts getting political, my journalistic tendencies tend to flare up.

Not to long ago Allen Garr added me as a friend on Facebook. I accepted his request and now we are friends. I have always admired Allen as a reporter he does a good job of getting to the bottom of civic issues. On top of it all, word on the street is he’s very respected by politicians and citizens of every stripe.

At first I thought Allen joined Facebook to show off his bee video or maybe to use it to snoop for leads. Afterall, lots of crazy stuff gets posted on the web. But after a few days, Allen let his Facebook friends know he was running on a slate with Heather Tremain and Virgina Weiler with the Action Team for the Vancity board of directors.

Mayor Robertson declares Canada Snowboard Day and honours Olympic medalists Maëlle Ricker and Mike Robertson

Sarah Blyth
Feb 25th, 2010

Mayor Gregor Robertson declared February 24th, 2010 Canada Snowboard Team Day to honour women's snowboard cross gold medalist Maëlle Ricker and congratulate all of Canada’s snowboard competitors at the Olympic Winter Games.

“Our Canadian Snowboard Team has put on an amazing performance during these Games,” said Mayor Robertson. “Maëlle Ricker is the first Canadian woman to win an Olympic gold medal at home and snowboard cross silver medalist Mike Robertson is among the first Canadian Olympians to win a medal. We wanted to pay tribute to them and their teammates to let them know how much their performances have meant to all of us.

“As team members prepare for their final competitions in parallel giant slalom on February 26th and 27th, we want them to know that all of Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada are behind them.”

Ricker was the first British Columbian, and Metro Vancouver native, to win a gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Born in North Vancouver she now lives in Squamish. Mike Robertson lives in Canmore, Alberta.

Stephen Colbert Offers to Re-Seed the "Canadian Swamp"

Sarah Blyth
Feb 19th, 2010

Aaron Jasper and his wife Arminder Randhawa with Stephen Colbert.

Vancouver Park Board Chair Aaron Jasper had the opportunity to meet Stephen Colbert after he finished taping his TV show on Thursday.

He told Comimissioner Jasper that he is sorry about the muck left behind from his show and that would re-seed the grass, or as Colbert has dubbed it, "The Canadian Swamp!"

We won't be holding our breath but wouldn't that be a sight to see.  

Disclaimer This post is all in fun.

Grand Opening of Mount Pleasant Community Centre

Sarah Blyth
Jan 20th, 2010

Mount Pleasant Community Centre had their Grand Opening this past weekend and the facility was jam packed.

Park Board staff commented that since they opened up to the public, the centre has been busier than expected. They have hired more staff to accomodate the increase in need.

One of the highlights of the building, is a very large climbing wall, located in the gym. Truly an exciting day for commissioners, staff, residents and association members.

North Shore Street Soccer Tournament a Big Success

Sarah Blyth
Jan 13th, 2010

Four teams participated in a heated series of round-robin games to decide who would be crowned the top team of the city’s street soccer league this past weekend. The tournament took place on Saturday afternoon and drew dozens of players, coaches, and spectators from across the Lower Mainland.

The league’s newest team the Burnaby Kickers got their first taste of street soccer and their coach says they are eager to play more.

In the end Portland FC took on the North Shore Lions, a team sponsored by the Salvation Army, in a final game that saw emotions run high. Despite a solid effort by Portland FC, the white-shirted Lions triumphed keeping the cup on their side of the bay and winning the match.

The whole tournament was hosted by Vancouver Coastal Health and the Salvation Army.

Vancouver Street Soccer Teams to Square Off this Weekend

Kurt Heinrich
Jan 6th, 2010

The Team practices for the showdown...

This Saturday, several dozen soccer players from the New Fountain Shelter will pile into their bus and head over to the North Shore to take on three other teams in the first Vancouver Street Soccer Tournament of the year.

It’ll be the second round-robin tournament the team has played in and the first tournament of 2010.

Drawn from outreach staff and residents of the New Fountain Shelter, Portland FC has been playing soccer since mid-2008. Led by a team of dedicated coaches, the team has grown from a handful of players to several dozen over the past year. With this latest tournament on the horizon, team manager Sarah Blyth says her squad is ready to rock and roll.

 “We practice every week at the Carnegie Centre and have become a lean mean soccer playing machine,” said Blyth. “The whole team is eager to get out there and take on other teams in the Lower Mainland Street Soccer League.”

90th Annual Polar Bear Swim at English Bay

Sarah Blyth
Dec 27th, 2009

Kick start 2010 and wash the 2009 cobwebs off by taking a dip in English Bay on New Year’s Day. The 90th annual Polar Bear Swim takes place at 2:30pm on January 1. Registration begins at 12:30, swim at 2:30pm.

Last year Myself, Spencer Herbert, Commissioners Barnes, Jasper and Hundel joined in the fun but only Commissioner Barnes and Spencer a had the cohones to take the plunge. Oh and my 5 year-old son Sebastian unexpectedly stripped down and ran in to the water, went in to about his knees and came flying out like water in a deep fryer.

There will be amazing costumes and many belly laughs to be had. Please join us this year for this annual Vancouver tradition.

The Olympic Torch Comes to the New Fountain Shelter Soccer Team

Sarah Blyth
Dec 26th, 2009

This past Sunday at the weekly practice of the Portland FC, coach Dr. Alan Bates, brought the Olympic Torch he ran with last week in Cornwall Ontario. Alan was chosen by the Canadian Medical Association to carry the torch with a team of doctors because of his dedication to Street Soccer programs in Vancouver, such as this one founded out of the New Fountain Shelter.

The team used the torch during warm ups, saying it was cool to be able to see, feel, and touch the torch and that it was actually quite heavy. They are all very proud of Alan and are looking forward to what the future holds for street soccer in Vancouver.

Next month the team will participate in a tournament in North Van against the Salvation Army and the Sun Eagles. Afterwards, they will start to plan a trip out east to the street soccer nationals and maybe the homeless soccer world cup.

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