Durham College and UOIT’s men’s and women’s soccer teams used their talents in the recent Charity Cup to help give kids the same opportunity to play sports they had.
The Charity Cup supports Their Opportunity, a local non-for-profit charity that helps less fortunate families put their kids in organized sports and recreational activities.
The event is a spin-off of the annual Campus Cup, which has been played since 2009. The Campus Cup features a two game mini-series between the Durham and UOIT soccer teams.
Five years ago the schools decided to add a second event, this on. five years later the Charity Cup is still going strong.
Duncan Mitchell is the captain of the Durham men’s soccer team and also works as an intern at Their Opportunity. He was part of the group which came up with the idea for the Charity Cup five years ago.
“It was all the captains of the teams. I, myself, was included,” says Mitchell. “We tried to re-create the Campus Cup but indoors and we just added a charity into it.”
Former UOIT goalie Mike Heinrich discovered Their Opportunity and the captains decided it would be good to support a charity that works in the local area.
There are lots of different charities this event could support but the thing that makes Their Opportunity stand out compared to other organizations is their pay it forward program, according to Mitchell.
“When we enroll a kid, from the day they are funded they have three months to give back to the community,” Mitchell said. “They can do any community service like soup kitchen or cleaning up garbage. If they do, that child is able to be funded again if they want to.”
This creates a cycle of charity work in the community.
The Charity Cup was free for fans. Proceeds from popcorn sales and a raffle for a signed Toronto FC soccer ball also went to Their Opportunity.
UOIT won both of the evening’s games. The women won 6-5 and the men topped the Lords 8-6. The two wins meant a clean sweep of this year’s Charity Cup for the Ridgebacks. The rivalries will be renewed in September when the teams kick off the 2016 season will the Campus Cup.
Despite the losses for Durham, players on all of the teams were excited to play a game for a good cause. Mackenzie Neal is a second year player on the Durham women’s team. She was happy to use her soccer skills to help other kids.
“Most of us were able play in organized sports as kids so we want to be able to give other kids those same opportunities,” says Neal.
The evening raised $300. To learn more about Their Opportunity and what they do, go to theiropportunity.com