After a one-year hiatus, the annual Steve Steele Memorial Boxing Day soccer match returns to Timberlane Park on Sunday, December 26, for a friendly, community- and family-oriented outdoor event.
“We’re thrilled to be able to run the game again this year,” said Steve Robertson, who is organizing the event. “We’ve got a lot planned, and the community has really stepped up with door prizes, volunteers and everything else we need. We couldn’t do it without everyone’s help.”
The two teams this year will be Powell River Villa, coached by Paul Liknes, and Stevie’s Steelers, coached by Jim Veenhof. Liknes and Veenhof will be honoured at the game for their contributions to soccer in Powell River.
“If you want to talk about any kind of soccer here in the last 50 years, these two guys have been involved,” said Robertson. “From youth soccer, to senior men’s, all the way up to Villa, they have been a part of it. We’re thrilled they’ve taken on coaching the teams for this match, and that we’ll have an opportunity to recognize their hard work and dedication.”
While the game will showcase some fantastic competitive soccer, Robertson stressed that providing a safe, family-friendly event for the community to attend is the major focus.
“I’ve had discussions with the ministry of health and others, and we’ll be following all required COVID-19 protocols in order to keep people safe,” said Robertson. “Because Timberlane is outdoors and it’s a big field, we’ll be able to spread out and keep a six-foot distance between groups, but still allow people to meet up and talk with friends.
“Our focus is on providing a safe, fun event for people to take part in. And because it’s outside, make sure you dress accordingly!”
Kickoff will be at 1:30 pm on Sunday, and entrance is by donation; Robertson recommended a minimum donation of $5 per person.
“We’re raising money for the Salvation Army and the food bank again this year,” said Robertson. “In addition to the gate proceeds, we’ll have a coffee and hot chocolate concession, also by donation, and all those proceeds will be pooled for these two great causes.”
One of Powell River’s youth soccer teams will be running a 50/50 during the game to help raise money to cover its competition travel expenses, and there are a variety of door prizes donated by businesses around Powell River that all those in attendance have a chance of winning.
“If you have nothing to do on Boxing Day, I recommend you come out, see some friends, get a chance at the door prizes, have a hot chocolate or coffee, watch some good soccer, and help support the people in our community who need a bit of help,” said Robertson. “That’s the whole idea of Boxing Day, after all: being part of the community and helping each other.”