Surrey United’s U18 Wildfire in a team photo. (twitter.com/SurreyUnitedSC)

Surrey United’s U18 Wildfire in a team photo. (twitter.com/SurreyUnitedSC)

SOCCER

Surrey team donates $17K they raised to play in big tournament, later cancelled by COVID

Four Surrey-area charties benefit from generosity of Surrey United’s U18 Wildfire

One Surrey soccer team decided to donate nearly $17,000 to charity after COVID-19 cancelled their plans to play in a tournament in Florida last summer.

The Disney Cup International event in Orlando was supposed to be a special “last hurrah” for members of Surrey United’s U18 Wildfire team in their final year of youth soccer.

“Our thought was to go out with a bang, to go to a big tournament at the end of it,” said head coach Darren Rossi. “They were going to spend almost a week there and wrap it all up nicely. This was like a carrot at the end of the whole thing, after years of playing together.”

Teen girls of the silver-division team raised the money over the previous 15 months, before the pandemic deflated their mid-July travel plans.

“Everything fell apart,” recalled Rossi. “It’s an international tournament, with teams from around the world. The big kick was they were going to carry the Canadian flag into the stadium. What an opportunity for them at an event like that. We had jerseys made up with the Canadian flag on them, you know. We were ready.”

When the pandemic dragged on, and it became clear the tournament wouldn’t take place in 2020, the team opted to give the $17,000 to select charities in Surrey.

With the team “retiring” and players entering into their young adulthoods, many moving on in different directions, the players voted that the funds should be donated to worthy causes to help give back to the community, Rossi said.

“We researched a bunch of charities, had multiple Zoom meetings and some votes, and it was decided to divide up the money to four charities, voted on by the girls,” the coach said. “Every girl got a vote about where their portion of the money would go, a share of the money. It was almost $900 per girl.”

In the end, $3,500 was given to the Surrey/White Rock chapter of KidSport BC, $6,175 to the Surrey-area BC SPCA branch, $3,500 to BC Cancer Clinic at Surrey Memorial Hospital, $875 to Surrey Food Bank, $500 to Surrey United’s Building Blocks program and the rest to a new Goal Diggers women’s team some of the players will rep next season.

(Story continues below tweet)

Rossi is justifiably proud of the girls he’s coached for five years.

“They did a lot of work to raise the money, no rock left unturned,” he said. “We did bottle drives, pub nights, a wine raffle. There were one or two fundraising events happening every month for about 15 months there. The moms stepped up and ran a fundraising committee. They were relentless with the fundraising.”

The coach said the team “was really tight” and had “an amazing culture” during its run in the last half of the decade.

“A lot of girls got selected to move up to higher divisions but declined, because they wanted to be on this team, to stay on this team,” Rossi said. “It was always about teaching them the sport and also looking forward to them continuing to play on into adulthood. So the team was almost more about making memories and bonding than about winning every Sunday, you know.”

In a series of tweets, Surrey United officials thanked the team for “representing the club and themselves incredibly well,” and for “taking a difficult 2020 and turning it into something special for so many others in our community. We are so proud of you!”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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

Charity and DonationsGirls soccer

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

Just Posted

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Surrey RCMP issue another warning about officer-impersonation scam

Calls demanding Bitcoin come “in waves” says Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Protestors at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds show their support for farmers in India Dec. 5, 2020. Hundreds gathered at the fairgrounds before driving in a convoy to the Indian consulate in Vancouver to protest three new laws they say will negatively impact farmers in India. (Photo: Jason Sveinson)
Protest in support of Indian farmers planned for Cloverdale

Surrey Challo event described as ‘a cultural awakening & lively protest’

The Anti-Racist Coalition Vancouver started a petition calling on B.C.’s education officials to make Black Shirt Day official. The inaugural event in solidarity with Black and racialized Canadians takes place on Friday, Jan. 15. (Screenshot/Change.org)
Surrey students, staff to take part in first-ever Black Shirt Day

Special day in ‘recognition of the struggle for civil rights fought by Black and racialized Canadians’

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey, Langley twin brothers who own companies together battle in court

Presiding judge described Surrey resident Kerry Hawley and Langley resident Kelly Petersen as ‘self-made successes’

16500-block of 24 Avenue. (Google image)
Council pushes forward applications for 400-plus dwellings in South Surrey

Loss of trees, pressure on schools cited by public, council members as areas of concern

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. finds its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Two toucans sit on tree at an unidentified zoo. (Pixabay.com)
BC SPCA calls for ban on exotic animal trade after 50 parrots, toucans pass through YVR

One toucan was found dead and several others were without food

The route of the pink parade. The Record has blackened out the name of the teen. Facebook photo.
Pink-vehicle parade to be held Sunday in support of transgender teen assaulted in Mission

Teen and family to watch parade drive single file along waterfront at 3 p.m., Jan. 17

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials says it will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s. (Canadian Press file)
Full parole granted to former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse of boys

Alan Davidson convicted of abusing boys in B.C. and Saskatchewan in late ’70s, early ’90s

Letisha Reimer died Nov. 1, 2016 after being stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
No evidence that killer was in ‘psychotic state’ during Abbotsford school stabbing: Crown

Second day of closing arguments at ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing for Gabriel Klein

The first COVID-19 vaccine arrives in B.C. in temperature-controlled containers, Dec. 13, 2020. (B.C. government)
More vaccine arrives as B.C. struggles with remote COVID-19 cases

Long-term care homes remain focus for public health

Most Read