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‘We feel like we’re part of the game’: Sabourins loving the Wanderers ‘Kitchen Party’ experience

When the Wanderers kicked off the new Canadian Premier League in the spring, soccer barely made the top ten of Rod Sabourin’s favourite sports.

But this fall it’s now number one on his list!

“It’s all I can think of now,” Rod said, after a season watching the Wanderers.

When asked what transformed him, the answer is a confident two word declaration: “The Kitchen.”

Rod Sabourin soaking up the atmosphere as the blue smoke flies in The Kitchen.
Rod Sabourin soaking up the atmosphere as the blue smoke flies in The Kitchen.

Sitting alongside the team’s loyal fans — Rod and and his two daughters Allison, 8 and Chloe, 6 — quickly got hooked, immersed in the constant singing and cheering coming from the supporters around them.

“It’s the atmosphere, I’ve been to other professional sporting events but I’ve never seen an atmosphere like The Kitchen, it exceeded my expectations in every way,” he said.

He has never been a season ticket holder to anything, but Rod decided to give it a go with the Wanderers as someone who grew up in the area and wanted to support club in its first year.

“I know usually it’s the first year that makes or breaks a team and I thought it was a good opportunity to get behind the team,” he said.

Rod and Chloe with the CPL's most loyal mascot, Rover.
Rod and Chloe with the CPL’s most loyal mascot, Rover.

He got two season seats in The Kitchen and his daughters take turns in going with him.

Before even going to a game he was a little worried that section of the stadium could be a bit too boisterous for the kids.

But those concerns quickly disappeared.

“It’s super friendly and inclusive and every community in Halifax is represented,” he said.

Stephen Hart’s team is now a passion for all three who have also learned all the songs and chants in The Kitchen.

Rod and Allison proudly wearing their Wanderers gear in The Kitchen.
Rod and Allison proudly wearing their Wanderers gear in The Kitchen.

“My daughters got into the songs and they still will sing from time to time ‘We love you Wanderers we do’,” he said, giving credit to the Privateers supporters group for helping spread the passion.

In fact, after initially wanting to do ballet, both girls are now enrolled in winter soccer with Dunbrack.

“They thought that would be a cool experience because they liked seeing the kids games at half-time, so now they’re playing as well as watching,” Rod said.

Not only did Rod and his daughters enjoy the songs during the matches, they loved how they could also get a reaction from the actual players and coaches on the pitch.

“We feel like we’re part of the game and we get responses from the opposing goalkeepers or Stephen Hart sometimes will give us a wave and that’s something you just can’t get in any other sport.”

Rod with Kodai Iida after the Wanderers last home match, alongside friend Katie.
Rod with Kodai Iida after the Wanderers last home match, alongside his friend Katie.

And as much as the matches have been great bonding time with his kids, Rod has also made new friends at the Grounds watching the Wanderers.

“When we were saying goodbye to the people we sat with it was like saying goodbye to best friends or family members,” Rod said.

He’ll be back among friends in The Kitchen for the 2020 season having already renewed his seats.

Join Rod, Allison and Chloe and book your spot at the Grounds next year.

2020 memberships are available now from this link to be a part of the Wanderers 2020 experience.

Tickets in The Kitchen for the all in price including taxes and fees are as low as $17.48 if you get season seats.

Single game tickets in the same section are $27.64 because of additional fees, so there are big savings if you become a member, with monthly payment plans available.

Sign up to be a member and get season seats and you will also qualify for 20% off at the Wanderers fan shop, exclusive offers from official team partners and season ticket member events.

And when you sign up for season seats you get a FREE subscription to One Soccer — valued at $144 — to stream the Wanderers games live on the road.

Come on you Wanderers!