The fun-oriented World Cups Youth Festival soccer tournament is returning to Saanich’s Lochside Park in mid-April. (Photo by Kelly Wallace/courtesy of Dom Butcher)

The fun-oriented World Cups Youth Festival soccer tournament is returning to Saanich’s Lochside Park in mid-April. (Photo by Kelly Wallace/courtesy of Dom Butcher)

World Cups soccer festival returns to Saanich’s Lochside Park in mid-April

Youth 5 to 18 can register for fun-oriented event, founded in 1986 by Frank Leversedge

Saanich’s time-honoured youth soccer festival is set to return to Lochside Park on April 15 and 16.

The World Cups Youth Festival is a spring tournament designed to help youth aged five to 18 from across Greater Victoria share in the joy sport brings to the community, said organizer and coach Dom Butcher.

The festival was founded in 1986 by Cordova Bay Soccer Association’s Frank Leversedge, who had a vision that the World Cups would bring people together.

One of the pitches at Lochside is named after Leversedge – Frank’s Field – and his intention with this fun tournament was to build community by mixing up students from different clubs and schools all over the region.

“This is a celebration of soccer in the community and it provides youth the opportunity to get to know each other,” Butcher said.

Partners in the event include Kidsport Greater Victoria and the Victoria Highlanders women’s team.

“We know that girls need role models in our sports system and we want to make sure that the women’s team is sustainable in Victoria and for the Island as well,” said Butcher.

Players will receive a swag bag, sunglasses, souvenirs, prizes and access to bubble soccer.

Early bird tickets are $40 if purchased before March 31, and $50 thereafter. Visit worldcups.ca for more information.

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