People gathered in front of the Haisla soccer field to put on a pair of gloves and leave their orange hand prints on the ground as part of the pre-tournament activities. (Christian Apostolovski/Black Press Media)

People gathered in front of the Haisla soccer field to put on a pair of gloves and leave their orange hand prints on the ground as part of the pre-tournament activities. (Christian Apostolovski/Black Press Media)

Haisla Braves ECM Memorial soccer tournament kicks off July 1

This is the second annual ECM tournament

The Haisla Braves Every Child Matters Memorial soccer tournament is set to kick off on July 1.

The tournament will be taking place from July 1 – 3 with teams gathering in Kitimat to play. Teams will be coming in from all over the region including, Kitwanga, Terrace, Prince Rupert, Gitanyow, Nisga’a, Gitsegukla, Hazelton and Kispiox.

The opening ceremony for the tournament will be held on July 2 to have as many teams there as possible.

“Not everyone plays on the first day so it would be nice to have all the teams there for the opening ceremony,” said Paul Gray, tournament organizer.

A number of dignitaries from the area have been invited to speak at the opening ceremony including Kitimat Mayor Phil Germuth, Haisla Nation Chief Councillor Crystal Smith and Skeena MLA Ellis Ross among others.

The plan ahead of the tournament is to have orange hand prints put down in front of the soccer fields at the Haisla soccer field and in front of Riverlodge Recreation Centre.

The first orange handprints went down in front of the Haisla soccer field on June 23.

“This event helps bring awareness to the issue and shows survivors that they have support,” said Gray.

This is the second annual Every Child Matters tournament and in total, this is the fourth time this particular tournament is taking place.

There will be a number of divisions in the tournament including, men’s, women’s, youth and masters. Teams entering had to pay an entry fee and the money stays within each division and is then given to the first and second place teams in the tournament.