Netting Gains

ConU Students Play for More than Victory in Annual Soccer Tourney

  • The Third annual Unifying Concordia Soccer Tournament, which took place at the Stinger Dome last Saturday, raised about $1,000 for Montreal’s Project Genesis charity. Photos Jake Russell

  • The Third annual Unifying Concordia Soccer Tournament, which took place at the Stinger Dome last Saturday, raised about $1,000 for Montreal’s Project Genesis charity. Photos Jake Russell

  • The Third annual Unifying Concordia Soccer Tournament, which took place at the Stinger Dome last Saturday, raised about $1,000 for Montreal’s Project Genesis charity. Photos Jake Russell

  • The Third annual Unifying Concordia Soccer Tournament, which took place at the Stinger Dome last Saturday, raised about $1,000 for Montreal’s Project Genesis charity. Photos Jake Russell

Soccer and charity brought together Concordia’s ethnic associations March 23, as the Concordia Caribbean Student Union and International and Ethnic Associations Council organized their third annual Unifying Concordia Charity Soccer Tournament.


A melting pot of Concordia students assembled at the Loyola campus Stinger Dome for the tournament. Among the near 150 players, supporters, and organizers were Bengalis, Arabs and Armenians, all gathered to raise money and have a good time.

The tournament, organized by Marvin Coleby of the IEAC and Yuri Wilkie of the CCSU, raised $800 for the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation when they first started the event in 2011 and about $1,000 for Montreal nonprofit organization Share the Warmth last year.

“We saw that a lot of student leaders interacted with each other, but the students themselves didn’t,” said Wilkie. “So we basically wanted to bring the school together while raising money for a good cause.”

This year, the IEAC, CCSU and the 11 teams that competed combined to raise about $1,000 for the Côte-des-Neiges-based charity Project Genesis.

Project Genesis is a community charity that helps Montrealers—most often those in the borough of Côte-des-Neiges—apply for welfare, resolve housing issues and secure their rights.

The organization will put the money raised towards resources allowing them to improve the living conditions of seniors, immigrants and the less fortunate in the borough.

“It’s for a good cause, it’s for charity,” said Concordia’s Armenian Students’ Association president Patrick Armen Elliott. “We’re getting a look at other associations and the people behind them, and it’s a lot of fun.”

“You realize that even though we’re all from different places, we all have common interests, either the welfare of the community or just soccer,” said Wilkie. “A lot people who come to play at the tournament want to meet people and enjoy themselves, and this is the unifying aspect we were aiming for.”

Although the tournament was for charity and participants came to support the fundraiser, some did not let that deter them from showing their competitive side and playing to come out as champions.

“We hope for the best,” said Farhan Ul Islam of the Bangladeshi Students’ Association before the tournament. “I see some amazing players on my team and I hope we’re going to do a good job.”

Players for the Arab Students’ Association were also excited to express their confidence.

“We will win, we will win,” insisted some players of the team, trying to speak over each other. “Last year we came in second, but this year we will win.”

As it turns out, they were right, as the ASA beat 2011 champions Tamil Mantram in this year’s final.

Others relished the opportunity to catch up with old friends and discover new cultures and student associations.

“The other team didn’t show up for our first game, but the Armenian folk are embracing me as one of their own,” said Kyle Rogers who, despite not being Armenian, played in net for the Armenian Students’ Association.

The tournament was expected to see its fair share of heated moments on the pitch. But after incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct last year, organizers were relieved to see better behaviour on the participants’ part.

“There was a lot of competition, which is good,” said Shanice Yarde, program and events coordinator of the IEAC. “Everyone understood the context, that this is a charity event, and it is to unify Concordia and not to divide.”

For the third straight year the tournament was seen by its organizers as a success and a pleasure to be a part of.

“It was really great seeing the pride in each organization,” said Yarde. “I really felt like we were all there together for the same goal.”

The IEAC and CCSU are already looking forward to next year’s tournament and another chance to unite Concordia on the soccer pitch.

“With each year as it progresses and grows, even though we were smaller in number this year, I still feel it had a great impact,” said Yarde. “There are so many of us that it becomes easy for us to be separated and disconnected, but I think this is a great way to bring everyone together.”

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