Hope And Health Community Camp

Whitecaps Visit The Island For The 9th Annual Hope And Health Community Camp

The 9th Annual Hope and Health Community Camp kicked off from Beban Park sports fields in Nanaimo, B.C. on Monday, August 22nd. It was another amazing event put on by the Hope and Health Society and the Kw’umut Lelum First Nations.

9th Annual Vancouver Island Hope And Health Community Camp

Close to 100 kids were running around the pitch when I showed up around lunchtime. Doing various drills with the coaches from the Vancouver Island University Men’s and Women’s soccer teams. Another 50 or so were playing in the bouncy castle, getting some early snacks, or getting some shade on the hot Vancouver Island day.

Hope And Health Community Camp | Sports Talk Line
Blue Skies And Green Grass For The Hope And Health Community Camp

Another big draw for the kids and parents was various members of the Vancouver Whitecaps team and organization helping out and making big appearances at the event. Helijet was great in partnering with this camp and flying parts of the squad over in the morning. Ryan Gauld, Brian White, and Jake Nerwinski were all there along with sideline reporter Sarita Patel.

Scenes From The Hope And Health Soccer Camp

The afternoon saw Ranko Veselinovic, Tristan Blackmon, and Sebastian Berhalter take on the kids. Head Coach Vanni Sartini also gave a rousing speech explaining why he was late this morning. Always one for theatrics!

Before things go back going after a great musical performance, the caps made sure to sign some autographs for the kids. Jake Nerwinski spoke about what the event meant for him.

 | Sports Talk Line
 | Sports Talk Line
 | Sports Talk Line
Even Spike Was Getting Into The Action

“We are very excited to once again have the opportunity to join Hope and Health and the Indigenous community on Vancouver Island,” said Nerwinski.

“Personally, it will be my fourth time participating and this year will be extra special since it has been a couple years. I’m looking forward to making new friends, as well as seeing several familiar faces. Being able to see these kids grow, mature, and develop a love for soccer is truly something very special to witness. I cannot wait to create more memories this year!”

 | Sports Talk Line
Head Coach Vanni Sartini Hydrating Before The Afternoon Session

It was great to see the Whitecaps out once again to support the event. It was the first time over to the Island for several of the players and they enjoyed the Helijet trip over.

The Hope And Health Society

The Hope and Health society was started back in 2010 with one of its goals being to use sports to bring Indigenous communities together. Executive Director of Kw’umut Lelum Family and Child Services Agency, William Yoachim, had his own positive experiences through sport and was active in creating an environment to inspire children.

Hope And Health Community Camp | Sports Talk Line
Hope And Health Community Camp

The Hope And Health Society does lots of other great work throughout the Nanaimo Community. The primary target audience of the Hope and Health Initiative is Indigenous children and youth, inclusive of those who are involved in the foster care system or living away from their home or out of their community.

Of course, this event has a special place in my heart after being a foster parent to an Aboriginal youth for 3 years. It was a great experience and he always loved playing soccer and coming over to Whitecaps games with me.

Vancouver Whitecaps And The Sports Talk Line Network

It was a great event and I encourage everyone on Vancouver Island to come out and support it. Or support the Hope and Health Society in any way you might be able to. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children I can tell you it will be worth it.

The Vancouver Whitecaps will head back to the big pitch on Saturday, August 27th against Nashville. They will be well rested after a full week off after their 1-1 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium against RSL. For more news and notes about the Vancouver Whitecaps make sure to follow me on Twitter at JoshuaGriffith0.

Make sure to check out the Sports Talk Line Website for more great sports coverage. The MLS season is coming to a close but the EPL just got back underway. Also for NFL, NHL, and NBA fans, the 2022 seasons are just starting to get underway. With camps coming soon in the NHL and NBA and the NFL already in preseason mode sports will be back fast and furious.

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