When the quarter-final match for the FIFA Women’s World Cup hits the pitch on June 27 at B.C. Place , two Pinnacles FC players will be right there.
Rita Rogers, venue general manager for the FIFA women’s world cup, was in Penticton April 11 with Shuéme, this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup mascot, touring the Okanagan and to announce the players will act as players escorts.
“It’s an unexpected treat,” said executive director and head coach of Pinnacles FC Ezra Cremers. “It is a fantastic memorable life time experience.”
“It was kind of a fun announcement to make. it went really well, lots of interest,” said Rogers, who made the informal presentation to the large crowd at Kings Park. “We want the entire province to be represented as best as possible. Reach out to the Okanagan region. We felt that it was important. We’ve been working quite closely with Pinnacles FC as they’ve been quite supportive of the competition. We’ve ideally been trying to broaden the involvement to incorporate communities outside of the Metro Vancouver area which is why we selected the club for this opportunity.”
The players (aged 6-10) will get to walk onto the field with the captains of the national teams, stand with them during the anthems and pre-game activities, and will be shown on the international broadcast. Once the opening ceremony has concluded, the children will be able to hang out with the other youth programme participants and watch the game, enjoy food and have time to play in the Youth Programme room while always being chaperoned.
Cremers said that they will draw names to select the players as it’s the best way without creating problems. Cremers said it was fantastic to have Rogers and the FIFA representatives visit them.
“Usually bigger cities get this attention,” said Cremers, who welcomed the community to come to the club house and watch the tournament games. “They showed up for first day of mini soccer with over 100 people.”
While in Penticton, Rogers and Shuéme watched a Pinnacles FC practice, provided soccer families with information on the tournament and attended the BCHL Final Game 1 between the Penticton Vees and Nanaimo Clippers. They also had a tent in the concourse of the South Okanagan Events Centre. Rogers also hopes that families will be able to find games to attend. Rogers said it will be up to Pinnacles FC to select the players to participate in the opening ceremony.
The FIFA women’s World Cup is the largest sporting event in the world and is expected to be a huge source of inspiration to the next generation of Canadian women’s players when it is held in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton June 6 to July 5.
Each of the local organizing committees are tasked with finding youth players to act as player escorts. For ticket information, check www.FIFA.com/Canada2015, which also provides the full tournament schedule with prices including single match pricing and group pricing. Groups of 21 or more receive a 25 per cent discount.