BC Soccer begins ReconciliACTION journey through partnership with Hope and Health

A key objective of the BC Soccer Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) plan, this agreement with sport-social impact leader aims to inspire soccer opportunities for Indigenous communities

May 19, 2022 – Vancouver BC

BC Soccer is delighted to join forces with Hope and Health, a charity organization that utilizes soccer and mentorship to inspire hope, as well as improve the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and life conditions for Indigenous children and youth in relation to the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, specific to Sports and Reconciliation (87-91).

Included within the partnership’s nine key objectives; 

  • Supporting Hope and Health’s Indigenous coach development strategy through access to coach development training and certification opportunities
  • Creating connections between Indigenous Communities and BC Soccer affiliated clubs
  • Working to help improve quality of programs offered to Indigenous communities
  • Bringing awareness and education to the provincial soccer community around Indigenous culture, traditions, and values.

The collaboration will also feature five key activities, including joint recognition of "Orange Shirt Day", co-delivery of community camps, and delivery of “Boot it Forward” program, involving the donation of soccer equipment to Indigenous children and youth.

Gabriel Assis, BC Soccer’s Director of Operations, says a meaningful reconciliation strategy is a critical component of the new DEI plan; “We know soccer has a rich history and relevance among Indigenous nations in BC.  By collaborating with Hope and Health, we found a partner that has already undertaken a lot of great work and community outreach, which we look forward to supporting and building on over the coming years.” 

"Hope and Health is thrilled to partner with BC Soccer with the signing of this MOU reflecting their commitment to ReconciliACTION. The key activities will contribute to coach education for our amazing coaching network, break down financial barriers for Indigenous youth to partake in our high impact community camps and create awareness and educational opportunities for the mainstream soccer community through the “Light the Path” Orange Shirt initiative. We are excited to get to work- as one mind, one heart- towards accelerating our Reconciliation impact together through the beautiful game.”  Deana Gill, Co-founder and CEO, Hope and Health For Life Society.

BC Soccer’s Executive Director, Jason Elligott believes this partnership can “get the ball rolling” towards meaningful inclusion between Indigenous communities and BC Soccer’s membership: “Our Association understands the role soccer, and sport in general, can play in the pride and well-being of communities.  Through our partnership with Hope and Health, we desire to work towards helping remove participation barriers while supporting community leaders as they mentor and coach through localized coach education, among many key objectives.”

Over the coming months and years, BC Soccer will engage its members and affiliated clubs in activities that promote education and reconciliation with Indigenous groups through the Association’s multiple communications platforms. 

Safe Sport Statement

BC Soccer believes that everyone involved in soccer has the right to participate in safe and inclusive environments free of abuse, harassment, discrimination, and to enjoy the sport at whatever level or capacity they participate in. The welfare of everyone involved in soccer is the foremost consideration and in particular, the protection of children in the sport is the responsibility of everyone involved.

About BC Soccer

Established in 1904, BC Soccer is the largest provincial sports organization (PSO) in BC and the third largest soccer-specific PSO in Canada with over 150,000 participants, consisting of registered players, coaches, referees, administrators and soccer leaders. As a professional not-for-profit society and a member of Canada Soccer, BC Soccer is committed to providing the widest opportunities for existing and potential participants, as well as provide support in the most effective and appropriate way for current players, parents, volunteers, member clubs, leagues, and districts.