VAUGHAN, ONTARIO and TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 22, 2011) -
Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this press release.
After two weeks of nationwide voting, BMO Financial Group announced today that Canadians selected the Glen Shields Sun Devils 2000 Girls soccer team, from Vaughan Ontario as the BMO Team of the Week 2011 Champion. The team receives $125,000 towards a soccer field refurbishment in their community, a road trip to see a Toronto FC or Vancouver Whitecaps FC home game and $5,000 donation to a charity of their choice.
For three months teams were nominated online and a finalist was chosen each week from April 20 through July 13, selected by a panel of judges based on team pride, spirit, community commitment and passion for the game. The contest culminated with Canadians casting their votes online for their favourite team.
To help raise awareness and gain support, players from Glen Shields Sun Devils engaged their entire community, attending local events, and visiting stores and malls to promote their team.
"Congratulations to the 2011 Champion Glen Shields Sun Devils on a truly extraordinary achievement. These dedicated and talented girls show passion both on the playing field and throughout their community," said Sandy Bourne Vice President, Sponsorships, BMO Financial Group. "We saw 15 exceptional teams selected as BMO Team of the Week finalists, and are thrilled to see thousands of Canadians voted from coast to coast to choose this year's Champion."
"This is great news for our city. We are ecstatic about this tremendous win. The Sun Devils were able to capture the hearts and minds of Canadians and as a result our nation chose Vaughan," said The Honourable Maurizio Bevilacqua, PC, Mayor, City of Vaughan. "I am very proud of our community's incredible capacity to rally behind this great team of truly exceptional girls and bring to our city a national victory. I want to express to all the supporters nationwide my warmest and sincerest gratitude. As well, I would like to thank BMO for their commitment to soccer and their ability to bring our country together for a great cause."
The players raised more money than any other team for the Vaughan in Motion Walk for Cancer. Recently, they volunteered at the City's Peace Tree Day Celebration highlighting peace and diversity within the community. On the field, the team's 2010 record led to a promotion to York Region Soccer League Premiere, the highest U11 league.
As part of their prize the team will be donating $5000 to the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC). The CPC aims to create an optimal environment for high-performance Canadian Paralympic Athletes to compete and win in the Paralympic and Parapan American Games, and by promoting their success, inspire all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport.
"Winning the money is certainly exciting, however the whole experience has been the most rewarding," said Sun Devils Coach Paul Dell'Aquila. "The BMO Team of the Week contest allowed us to watch the enthusiasm and determination of a small team of 11-year-old girls become contagious and quickly spread through the entire Glen Shields Club and through the whole community of Vaughan. We thank BMO for the $125,000 towards our future turf field and the opportunity to participate in a rewarding experience."
"BMO Team of the Week has helped showcase hundreds of amazing teams from across the country. The program has underscored what we see every day as the Bank of Soccer in Canada. It's about more than just the game, it's about bringing together the communities in which we work, live and play," added Ms. Bourne.
The 14 other finalists were:
||The Gabriola Wolves are a U10 girls' team from Gabriola Island, B.C. Three years ago, team members spearheaded efforts to create the first youth girls team on Gabriola Island. With no other girls teams on the island they take a boat trip to every away game.
||The Southwest United Red Devils FC01 are a U10 girls team from Calgary, AB. They are ranked first in the Calgary Minor Soccer Association (CMSA) Girls' Under-10 League, and won the CMSA Family Day Tournament and the Edmonton Slush Cup Tournament. They also supported Canada's war veterans on Remembrance Day.
||The Dundas Dragons U10 Girls are a team from Dundas, ON. The girls play for fun in the off-season and, in addition to weekly practice, run together on the Dundas Rail Trail every Saturday. The Dragons also volunteered as a team for the 30th anniversary of the Terry Fox Run.
||The Peterborough City U12 Boys are from Peterborough, ON. They wear pink practice jerseys to raise awareness for the fight against cancer. In the last three years, the team has won or placed highly in a number of tournaments and has moved up divisions based on their success.
||The Vaughan Battlecats are a U11 boys' team from Maple, ON. The team sent soccer balls for children in need to a village in Ghana and also collected toys this past Christmas for the CHUM Toy Drive. The team is also a force on the field, winning 15 division and tournament championships in the last four years.
||The Central Queens Clippers U12 Girls are from Hunter River, PEI. Central Queens Clippers members referee games and mentor younger girls in their club. The girls also participate in the Run for the Cure to raise money for cancer research.
||The 44's Boreal FC U10 are from Prevost and Saint-Colomban, QC, and many of the team members come in from small towns in the Laurentians. The 44's named their team in honour of a friend and teammate who tragically lost her life last year and wore the number 44.
||The Rockets from Pitt Meadows, BC, are a U10 girls' team. Not only do the Rockets know how to move the ball, they are noted for their respect of other players. The team participated in a local food bank drive and collected over 700 items for children in need in their community.
||The Blainville U11 MAA are a boys team from Prevost and St. Colomban, QC. Many have been playing soccer since the age of five, and they took home the title at the 2010 Laurentian Cup. These boys shaved their heads, and also participated in a run to raise funds to support children with cancer.
||The Cordova Bay Impact are a U12 girls team from Victoria, BC. The team was the only U12 Canadian girls team invited to participate in a tournament in Sweden. The girls also raised money for Diabetes research and were the clean-up crew at Victoria's first Tour De Victoria bike race.
||The Halifax County United U12B Girls are from Tantallon, NS. Despite cold and rainy weather, they continued their practices outside. The girls collected clothing and cleats to donate to the Edgars Youth Programme in Uganda and provided school supplies to children in their own community.
||The U11 Meat Wagon Golden Eagles are a mixed team from Simcoe, ON. Some sport gold mohawk haircuts, others gold headbands to show they are a golden team with lots of spirit. This year they started their own uniform drive through World Teacher Aid, and hope to outfit a whole school of more than 600 students in Nakuru, Kenya.
||The Oshawa Kicks Attack from Oshawa, ON are a U10 girls team and they are all about spirit. In the community, they participated this year in the 5km Run for Epilepsy. When some of the players crossed the finish line, they went back to encourage their teammates across the line.
||The Blizzard Celtic '01 are from Calgary, AB. This U10 girls team has helped their community both individually and collectively, by participating in a Relay for Life 12-Hour Walkathon on the same weekend as a tournament. They have also sent school supplies to children in Burundi. On the field, they were finalists in the A Division Calgary City Championship.
About BMO and Soccer
BMO supports soccer across Canada, from youth players in local neighbourhoods and communities, to the professional level. Our deep commitment to "The Beautiful Game" is evident with our grassroots sponsorship of more than 950 youth teams nationally. This relationship continues with the bank's support of Canada's men's and women's national teams, professional teams (Toronto FC, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps FC) and our soccer venue title sponsorship (BMO Field).
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