Saturday’s Halifax Wanderers match marks the official launch of the club’s Football 4 All initiative to get more Nova Scotians involved with the beautiful game in 2023. Presented by TELUS, the Football 4 All Match highlights several programs to make the sport more accessible.
The club launched the campaign just over a week ago with numerous plans to get people playing soccer, including equipment donation drives and free-to-play soccer events.
“There are two key ways that we can get more people playing this sport right away: inspiration and activation,” Wanderers President and Founder Derek Martin said. “We can inspire children in Nova Scotia by getting them out to a match to see professional soccer up close, and we can get them active in the sport by getting resources like equipment into the community.”
TELUS is leading an equipment drive at The Wanderers Grounds on Saturday to collect gently used soccer balls, cleats and shin guards. This equipment will be distributed back into the community.
“At TELUS, we’re focused on connecting Canadians to the people and activities they’re most passionate about,” Andrew Ross, Director, Sales – Atlantic Canada, at TELUS said. “Partnering with the Halifax Wanderers on their Football 4 All initiative was a natural fit for us given our deep-rooted commitment in the Canadian sports community. As an organization dedicated to giving where we live, we are thrilled to be partnering with Halifax Wanderers and look forward to working together to drive positive social change through the power of sport.”
Through partnerships with local businesses and the generosity of individual Wanderers supporters, the club is excited to announce that over 600 local children will attend their first Wanderers match on Saturday for free. Over 300 tickets were sponsored, with the club matching every contribution. These donated tickets will be distributed by local organizations, including YMCA Greater Halifax and FUNSports.
“When children have these special opportunities to participate in community sporting events, it inspires them to get active and believe in themselves. The Wanderers are such positive role models for children in our area to look up to,” YMCA Director of Donor Relations Alexandria Samson said. “Thank you to everyone who supports Football 4 All by donating tickets to this weekend’s game. As a community partner, we’re incredibly grateful for the Wanderers and for your generosity!”
“FUNSports kids get super excited when they get Wanderers tickets. It’s awesome to see the look on their face when a ticket is in their hand,” FUNSports Founder Dave Green said. “A great big thank you from the bottom of my heart to the Wanderers and their sponsors for making this experience possible for our youth, both they and I really appreciate it.”
The Wanderers are also contributing soccer balls through the ‘Buy a Ball, Give a Ball’ program. For every Derbystar ball purchased from the Wanderers Fan Shop, the club will add a brand-new ball to the TELUS equipment drive.
On May 11, the club held its first free-to-play drop-in soccer event at Highland Park in North End Halifax. Wanderers players took their skills to the basketball court and played along with nearly two dozen Haligonians of all ages to show all you need to play is a ball.
⚓️ All you need is a ball.
We took our game to the basketball court at Highland Park for a free night of pickup soccer ⚽️
Join us this summer as we get more soccer balls into the community to help make Football 4 All in Nova Scotia 👊 #TogetherFromAways #COYW pic.twitter.com/3v29ibhf47
— Halifax Wanderers FC (@HFXWanderersFC) May 12, 2023
The Football 4 All Match, presented by TELUS, kicks off a 3 p.m. AT at the Wanderers Grounds against York United FC. Football 4 All programs, such as Equipment drives and free soccer events, will continue throughout the summer.