The United Way of Pictou County and the Pictou County YMCA “both with a mission to build a healthy community,” have formed a partnership to launch the Pictou County Bubble Soccer Tournament, said Heidi Sinclair of the YMCA.
Jessica Smith, executive director of the local United Way, said it’s a new, collaborative approach for her organization.
“It just makes sense to partner,” she said, noting that working together they can make one bigger event rather than a lot of little ones.
Partnering allows the groups to share responsibility and planning, while also supplying more resources, such as volunteers, to help with the event.
Sinclair said the YMCA already partners with other organizations for other reasons, and this extends the collaboration to fundraising.
Funds raised will be divided between both groups, with the YMCA’s portion going to YMCA Strong Kids, an annual fundraising campaign focused that supports YMCA programs that give kids the opportunities they need to reach their full potential and to live healthier, happier lives. The funds support local children, youth and families.
The United Way is one of the largest non-government funders of social services in Pictou County, supporting 20 community programs and services this year.
The idea came from the United Way of Cape Breton, which holds an annual bubble soccer tournament. “They’ve had very great success with it,” said Smith.
That group has raised more than $10,000 from its event, and while Smith doesn’t anticipate generating those kinds of funds, she’s optimistic that the tournament will be successful.
The hope is to have 30 teams of six people each, with three divisions being offered: youth (12 to 15 years), student (high school or post-secondary) and adult (18 years and up).
The tournament takes place on Nov. 12, and will feature a three-on-three format with prizes for the top team in each division. The event will also have 50/50 draws, games of chance, and food available.
“The whole idea of the event is fun – it carries right through to our prizes. Come out and do something different and try something different,” said Sinclair.
“It’s something different,” she said. “You don’t always go out to play soccer wrapped in a bubble.”
Both women encourage members of the community to come out to watch and cheer on the teams.
“Hopefully this is a great success and we can keep doing it year after year,” said Smith, adding that both organizations would like to see more partnerships formed in the future.
What? Pictou County Bubble Soccer Tournament.
Where? Sobey Soccer Complex, Stellarton
When? Nov. 12, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Why? To raise funds for the United Way of Pictou County and the YMCA of Pictou County
How? Registration deadline is Nov. 1. Contact the United Way of Pictou County at 902-755-1754 or the YMCA of Pictou County at 902-752-0202.