Surrey United’s U15 girls soccer team (in red) on the pitch in June of 2014. (File photo)

Surrey United’s U15 girls soccer team (in red) on the pitch in June of 2014. (File photo)

SOCCER

Surrey soccer players run 6,000K ‘to Halifax,’ for victims of mass shooting

Symbolic journey ‘a target, some incentive, and it’s really caught fire,’ club official says

Soccer players with Surrey United are on a symbolic run to Nova Scotia as a group, in a show of support for victims of the mass shooting there.

With soccer games and practices cancelled for now, the Cloverdale Athletic Park-based association’s Run to Halifax Challenge doubles as a way to keep players active and fit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Challenge sees players record their individual, socially-distanced runs on a Google form, with the goal of a 6,000-kilometre journey to Nova Scotia from April 25 to May 9.

As of Day 2 on Sunday (April 26), players have run close to 850 kilometres – the equivalent of getting to Calgary, pretty much.

“We were trying to come up with a way to keep our kids moving, in the event a return to play happens soon,” said Jeff Clarke, the club’s technical director. “It’s a target, some incentive, and it’s really caught fire. We’ve had Calgary Foothills come on board and they’re getting their members to do it, and also Coquitlam Metro Ford. It’s just a way to inspire our club to stay training and it’s snowballing into something bigger and better.”

On Surrey United’s Facebook page, video shows Clarke in a “Monday motivation” demonstration of volleying skills that players can try at home.

(Story continues below)

This week, teams with Surrey United and other soccer associations in B.C. would be preparing for playoffs and provincial championships to come, with club nationals set for the fall, as always.

“We’re really the only province in our situation, because our competition phase is different than others,” Clarke noted. “The rest of the country was supposed to start playing next weekend, until the end of August. Our season was compromised because of when (the pandemic) hit in mid-March, so nationals might still go ahead, and they might go ahead without a B.C. rep, we’re not sure, but nothing official has come out on that.”

Clarke said it’s too early to suggest when a restart of soccer may happen, but he and others hope it’s soon.

“It’s a million-dollar question,” he said. “Right now we’re just trying to prepare for every possible variation or stage or return to play, some being more restrictive than others. We know it’s a low likelihood of us returning to what we knew three months ago, but we hope in the next six weeks we can at least get kids out there and reconnecting, and that be with lesson plans built around social distancing or other restrictions, where health authorities deem it safe and appropriate with what’s going on.”

As a way to stay connected, players and teams are conducting online chats with Zoom and similar apps, he said.

“If you think about these young kids, the social side of their life and their teammates, that’s a big part of who they are, and you can see their faces light up when they see those teammates on the screens,” Clarke noted. “So hopefully soon we can pull them onto a field, even if it’s keeping a distance, I think that will go a long way to helping everything in the big picture as well.”

• RELATED STORY, from 2018: Surrey United celebrates 50 years of soccer at day-long event.

In other Surrey United news, Nick Perugini is leaving his position as assistant technical director of the club, but will continue in his role as head coach of its BCSPL program. Perugini said he will be pursuing other professional opportunities starting in July.

“He’s going to leave a big hole,” Clarke said of his assistant. “Nick’s a big personality and a great worker, and now he wants to do some other things, and we’ll miss him in that position.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

soccer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
OUR VIEW: We expect integrity from leaders

Is it too much to ask that conflict related to the city’s business be met on the battleground of fact?

Hardeep Singh Sahota, the director of Royal Academy of Bhangra in Surrey, says there’s lots of confusion around the temporary closure of dance studios. He’s pictured in the empty studio, which shows spaced out dance areas, on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
‘Temporary’ closure causing confusion for Surrey dance studio

Bhangra academy director says studios need more guidance from healh authorities

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
Rumours of vehicle-occupant address checks untrue, say Surrey RCMP

COVID-19 enforcement about education, says Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

FILE PHOTO - Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference about the provincial government approving the city’s municipal police transition plan Thursday (Aug. 22, 2019). He is joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. (File photo: Lauren Collins)
LETTER: Surrey’s budget is despicable

Reader says Safe Surrey is going to bankrupt residents

(Photo: Amy Reid)
VIDEO: 2020 Community Leader Awards recognize Surrey’s unsung heroes

They don’t often receive recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

Chilliwack school board trustee Barry Neufeld is taking heat over using a ableist slur to refer to three Black Press employees. (Paul Henderson/ Progress file)
BC School Trustees Association president keeps heat on Chilliwack Trustee Barry Neufeld

In a news release, Stephanie Higginson called on voters to take careful note of Neufeld’s behaviour

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

School District 27 announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 this week (Nov. 23) at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Entire gym class at northern B.C. high school isolating after confirmed COVID case

Contact tracing by Interior Health led to the quarantine

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

Most Read