After the announcement of the Clearwater Secondary School boy’s soccer team’s advancement to the provincial games in Burnaby, the team and coaches reached out to the community for donations to pay for their travel, hotel, game fees and food. Just a few days later, the team had raised well in excess of their $10,000 goal.
“We have had an incredible outpouring of support from our community and beyond, and have now met all of our funding needs for the upcoming trip to the provincials,” said CSS principal Darren Coates in a Facebook post to the community. “The overwhelming support and coverage in the news has been exciting and heartwarming for the boys and has made us repeat the (District of Clearwater) mantra, “Love where you live.’”
The boy’s soccer team is headed to Burnaby to battle 15 other teams from Nov. 3 to 5 at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex. It is the first time in the school’s history the team has made it the provincial level.
The team quickly received donations from various groups, including the employees of Trans Mountain ($2,500) and Banister ($1,000), both working on the pipeline expansion project, Jason Breda ($2,000), owner and operator of Loco’s Welding, Wells Gray Home Hardware ($2,500) and Banister ($2,500).
Coates said they also received an anonymous donation from an ex-Clearwater graduate on Friday morning, who threw another $2,500 into the pot, as well as large donations from many other community members.
The Clearwater Secondary boys soccer team is going to the Provincials for The. First. Time. EVER!!!! Darren Coates, the high school principal, needs to raise about another 5k fast to get these small town heroes to the Big Smoke. email@example.com if you can help. pic.twitter.com/PyxhbRgrZL
— Merlin Blackwell, Mayor (@BlackwellMerlin) October 27, 2021
After DOC mayor Merlin Blackwell posted to Twitter a request for donations, Coates received a message from the Vancouver Whitecaps FC who committed to providing financial aid in addition to new equipment, such as cleats or black shorts for the boys, that can be hard to find in a rural area like Clearwater.
“(The boys) were touched the Whitecaps even knew who they were,” Coates told the Times. “They were pretty excited for sure.”
We got you. Tell Darren to check his email 📨 https://t.co/WHww6FSJdF
— Vancouver Whitecaps FC (@WhitecapsFC) October 27, 2021
The CSS soccer team was also parked in front of Buy-Low Foods and Tim Hortons before the weekend, handing out Raiders stickers to those who wanted them, while also accepting further donations. While the team had met their fundraising goal for the tournament, Coates said any additional funds raised would be put towards new jerseys, which are nearing the end of their lifespan.
“We just wanna get the kids out in the community so they can be visible and give out some stickers so we get some Raider pride in the community.”
Keep an eye out in the Times, on social media and the school website and newsletters for updates and more information, as well as a full list of those who donated to support the team.