Soccer tourney to benefit affordable housing project

Tapworks Brewing Company in Gibsons and the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society are hoping soccer enthusiasts will lace up their cleats and open up their wallets to help raise money for one of the society’s projects.

Registration is now open for the Tapworks Cup seven-a-side soccer tournament, set for Shirley Macey Park on June 15.

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Tapworks co-owner Geoff Gornall said the soccer tournament is the second fundraiser they’ve done with the housing society.

“We wanted a community partner that we could continually work with, an organization that shared some of our values and was into a cause that was important to us,” he said. “A lot of our staff fit into the types of people who would benefit from affordable housing, so that was the reason that we initially reached out.”

Krista Dempster, a housing society board member, said the money raised during the tournament will be used for the society’s project on Franklin Road in Gibsons, which will see three units in two buildings built on a former road right of way which the Town has agreed to lease to the society.

“Affordable housing is such a need on the Sunshine Coast to keep things vibrant, but we need the community’s support,” said Dempster. “I’ve gone into businesses that have had to close a day or two because they don’t have the staff. We want to bring people here and keep them here and make it affordable for them to live.”

Dempster said the society’s overall fundraising goal for the Franklin Road project is $50,000

Gornall said a soccer tournament was a natural choice for an event, because there are a lot of people playing the game at every level on the Coast.

“For the size of the population, there’s a very health soccer community,” he said. “I’ve seen soccer play a crucial part in the community by bringing people together and I thought that a seven-a-side tournament that’s fun first.”

As well as an entrance fee of $245 per team, the event will bring in money through raffles with prizes that include rain barrels, a 50/50 draw and, of course, a beer garden and barbecue.

Sponsors are also coming on board to help defray costs and contribute to the society, including the Sunshine Coast Credit Union, which has signed up as the presenting sponsor.

The only restriction is that players must be 18 or older because of insurance requirements, but there will be lots going on and it’s designed to be a family friendly event.

Dempster said the society is also in the process of setting up a fundraising page that will be linked to its main website www.affordablesc.org.

Gornall and Dempster said society members and Tapworks staff will probably be too busy organizing and running the tournament to field teams, but if enough teams sign up they’ll have a “competitive” and “fun-oriented” division.

The deadline to register at gibsonstapworks.com/tapworkscup is May 28.

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