Surrey coach needs your votes for Vancouver Whitecaps service award

Bobby Samra has been nominated to win a community service award through the Vancouver Whitecaps. Online voting ends Friday.

Coach Bobby Samra

Coach Bobby Samra

A Surrey father, school vice principal and soccer coach needs your help to win $10,000 for a charity that’s close to his heart.

Bobby Samra, coach of the U-15 Surrey FC Eagles, has been nominated by the Vancouver Whitecaps as their “Community MVP” for using soccer to make a difference in his community.

The league-wide contest put each club representative against one another for the chance to win $10,000 donation to the charity of their choice, and a trip to the MLS All-Star match.

As of Tuesday, Samra was in first place, leading a field of 18 community MVPs representing the other 18 MLS teams in North America.

Voting has already begun on the community MVP grand prize.

The winner gets to donate the prize money to their charity of choice, and gets to watch an All Star Game in Kansas City live.

Samra, vice principal at George Greenaway Elementary in Cloverdale, has been very active as a community soccer coach for more than 25 years.

He began coaching soccer to inner city youth when he was just out of high school, and strives to instill a culture of teamwork and acceptance among players of every level. More recently, he’s created a program between the Central City Soccer Club and the Surrey School District.

He was nominated for the competition by his wife, who saw the contest being advertised by the Whitecaps on Twitter.

“To be honest, I was surprised when they chose mine because what I do is done as simply part of my belief system,” he said.

If he wins, Samra will be donating the money to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, or JDRF.

Samra’s 14-year-old son, Suneil, was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when he was just 6 and is now an ambassador for the foundation. Suneil also plays on his dad’s team.

The MLS winner is the person who can get the most on-line votes between July 1 and July 12 at 2 p.m.

To vote, visit  http://www.mlssoccer.com/mlsworks/community-mvp/vote or Facebook.com/MLS.

It’s going to be a close race.

“I would love to represent Surrey,” he said. “If I did win, I would be thrilled to donate the money to JDRF.”

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Surrey North Delta Leader