If Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows were bustling over the long weekend, it’s because thousands of visitors came to the area for a local soccer association’s West Coast Cup tournament from Sept. 3 to 5.
Over 135 teams made up of over 2,000 coaches and players participated.
“We estimate nearly 5,000 people, including players, coaches and their families were in town for the West Coast Cup,” said association president Jason Salchert.
The tournament hosted games at field locations throughout both communities, where players from U8 to U18 competed in competition over the three days. For U13-U18, the winning team in each division took home trophies, with champion and finalist medals for each player.
“We opened up the tournament this year to U8-U10 teams, and were very happy with the response,” Salchert added. “This is a great local tournament for teams to kick off the start of their soccer season.”
Participating teams came from as far away as Yukon Territory and the Sunshine Coast.
A First Nation team participated as well, from the new First Nation Soccer Association.
Club representatives said the event brought a high level of competitive play to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows players.
“It was a successful weekend bringing so many people together in hundreds of games. Of course none of this would have been possible without the hard work of our volunteers,” said Salchert.
“Glen Kelleway of our board really took on the huge task of organizing the tournament this year, and it was run by 95 per cent volunteer efforts, which is amazing,” he added.