One of the three stated focuses of the 2021/22 Richmond FC board has been to grow the club outside of our traditional local sporting roots, and to do more in the community. There are several initiatives underway in that respect, and the first can be announced happily today; RFC will partner with the Hope and Health organization, which provides soccer coaching to indigenous youth, to bring camps to the children of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation this summer.

Our new Technical Director, David Thorburn, and Executive Director Marius Roevde, will take a team of volunteer coaches to deliver the H3 curriculum that encompasses valuable development experiences, and spread some good during a year that has been rough for many.

As a show of further support, Hope and Health’s logo will be present on the sleeves of our new jerseys, including our new orange away kit, a colour selected in part as an acknowledgement of Canada’s residential school history.

On the second sleeve will be the logo of Go Auto Columbia Chrysler, which has agreed to once again support the club car lottery, and the front and back of the shirts will include two sponsors soon to be announced, all of which are helping us in the creation of several programs like this one, to reach out to families in need.

Hope and Health has brought over 5000 Indigenous children and youth to Skills and Drills community camps on Vancouver Island and Vancouver mainland based in Musqueam, and has partnered with over 75 member Nations.

These partnerships were the work of RFC Technical Director, Marius Roevde, who has a long term connection with the Hope and Heath community movement.

“Over this Canada Day weekend, it’s been a time for us all to reflect on not just acknowledging the past, but what we can do to make things better in the future,” Roevde said. “It’s important for our kids to be leaders, and to understand they have the ability to be the change.”

RFC Chair Chris Parry says the board of directors at the club was unanimous in agreeing to the program.

“It’s normally like pulling teeth to get everyone on the same side of something new, but we’re all in on this, there’s a real desire to drop barriers and work for positive change” he said. “It’s a recognition by all of us that it doesn’t matter what part of the city you’re from, what club you’re in, or what your background is, we’re all a part of the same community – all kids matter – and we’ve got a lot more to do.”