North Island hosts World Cup

World Cup Soccer Camp returns to the North Island.

PORT McNEILL—A tiebreaking overtime goal by Josh Walkus of Port Hardy lifted “Team Brazil” to a dramatic victory over “Team Argentina” in the annual World Cup Soccer Camp jamboree Friday at North Island Secondary School.

The camp, run by former Canadian National Training Centre coach Brett Hyslop and featuring two-time Canadian National Champion Steph Steiner, ran sessions last week in Port Hardy, Port McNeill and Sointula before all participants were brought together for the traditional jamboree of games, dancing and gift-giving at NISS.

Players were mixed by age and hometown into teams representing their “countries” in World Cup style, and competed in mini games backed by songs played by D.J. Steiner under a canopy on the sidelines. Teams were awarded bonus points for particularly vigorous dancing during the round-robin portion of the jamboree, but things turned serious in the playoffs, where ties were broken by spirited rounds of “rock, paper, scissors.”

When the field was whittled to the final two teams, the other players lined the field and waved a colourful array of flags, representing Germany, Spain, Japan and others while the championship game took place.

Following the game, all players were awarded camp T-shirts and gifts were presented to each community’s local organizer — Sharon Tanner of Sointula, Liz Kufaas and Sandy Grenier of Port Hardy and Sandy McKenzie of Port McNeill, who was presented a bottle of wine by all four camp coaches after hosting them in her home for the week.

Zac DesRosiers of Port McNeill and Tony Saavedra and Johnny Henderson of Port Hardy also served as volunteer camp coaches for the week.

 

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