CF Montréal, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Special Olympics Quebec, and Special Olympics BC are teaming up for the 2021 Play Unified Challenge!
Eleven Special Olympics BC athletes are paired with players from the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System, including five boys from the MLS Academy and six girls from the Super REX program in partnership with BC Soccer.
Competition runs from September 7 to October 31. Participants complete new soccer and fitness challenges every other week.
The results from each challenge will be tallied, and the team that wins the most challenges will be crowned champions!
Good luck to the SOBC & Whitecaps FC Academy athletes!
Glen McIntyre, SOBC – Kelowna
Andrea Kraetzer, WFC Academy
Nicholas Sekella, SOBC – Kelowna
Alessandro Comita, WFC Academy
Devon Marsland-Anderson, SOBC – Coquitlam
Olivia Ahern, WFC Academy
Kyle McLaughlin, SOBC – Coquitlam
Max Comsia, WFC Academy
Amy Nelson, SOBC – Coquitlam
Isabella Lister, WFC Academy
Amanda Manzardo, SOBC – Coquitlam
Shae Taylor, WFC Academy
Kayla Polege, SOBC – Surrey
Megin Turi, WFC Academy
Malcolm Borsoi, SOBC – Surrey
Eric Kim, WFC Academy
Christopher Lakusta, SOBC – Langley
Niko Myronuik, WFC Academy
Jerman Severeid, SOBC – Quesnel
Ava Wright, WFC Academy
Matthew Hender, SOBC – Quesnel
Abe Jones, WFC Academy
The CF Montreal Whitecaps FC Special Olympics Play Unified Challenge aligns with the MLS WORKS cornerstone of Soccer For All, which advocates for an environment of diversity and inclusion through leveraging the power of sport.
"The ‘Caps are really excited to partner with CF Montreal and Special Olympics,” said Jennifer Scott, director of Diversity, Inclusion and Community. “The initiative aligns with our own club’s pillars of building community through sport and fostering diverse and inclusive spaces and practices.”
“We’ve been working in partnership with Special Olympics Quebec for over 20 years,” said Véronique Fortin, director of Community Relations at CF Montreal. “This project allows us to continue to offer these unique and inclusive experiences to our athletes and our unified players despite the pandemic. This year, we are very excited to take on a new opponent, Vancouver Whitecaps FC.”
Special Olympics Quebec and BC are Chapters of Special Olympics, an international organization dedicated to enriching the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through the transformative power and joy of sport. More than 45,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities are registered in Special Olympics year-round programs across Canada. They are supported by over 21,000 volunteers including over 12,000 trained coaches.
“Special Olympics BC is thrilled to team up with our friends from Whitecaps FC, CF Montréal and Olympiques Spéciaux Québec to create this inclusive and empowering experience,” said Lois McNary, SOBC Vice President, Sport.
“This is an important opportunity for our athletes to build their skills, showcase their abilities, and strengthen friendships with their MLS teammates. And we know the competition will be fierce! We’re grateful to these two MLS clubs who are long-standing champions of inclusion and respect for athletes with intellectual disabilities.”