Watch above: Videos of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge are flooding social media. Professional athletes and celebrities are all taking part, hoping to raise awareness – and dollars – for ALS. And now, so is a local soccer team. Emily Mertz explains.
“They have been really big idols to us for a really long time,” said United Scottish player Chloe Geraldes. “We’ve gone to watch their games and everything. They’ve been really big inspirations to us so we thought – may as well try to get them to do it too.”
On Thursday night, following practice, the Scottish United team took on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge together.
“It was really cold,” said Geraldes. “It was a lot of fun though.”
The girls challenged the FIFA U-20 Canadian women’s team to do the same: post a video of themselves getting a bucket of ice dumped on their heads within 24-hours of being challenged or make a $100 donation to an ALS organization, although many participants are doing both.
“Our team is very competitive,” said Kinley McNicoll, who plays on the U-20 team. “We definitely accept the challenge from the youngsters in Edmonton. We’re trying to work something out right now, but we definitely will make the video and post it.”
WATCH: Canada’s U-20 Women’s soccer team accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
“We actually did hear about it,” echoed teammate Janine Beckie. “We’re actually planning on when we’re going to do it as we speak. The buzz has gone around the team.”
“It’s a great cause; we’re really excited to do it.”
“You’ve got girls on this team that dream of being on Team Canada one day,” said 2001 Scottish United Team Manager Janet Deane. “To be able to give this challenge to these women and even for them to recognize our girls – and be acknowledged this way – I think it’s fabulous.”
Since July 29, videos of people doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge have flooded social media.
Since then, the ALS Association – the national organization in the U.S. – has raised more than $5.5 million for Lou Gehrig’s disease research, compared to $32,000 in the same period last year.
The ALS Society of Alberta says the support – and awareness – this campaign is bringing to the cause is amazing.
“It’s just really actually overwhelming, the response,” said ALS Society of Alberta spokesperson Brandee Fossen. “Professional athletes to actors, to political figures to people living with ALS…it’s very exciting times for us right now.”
READ MORE: Ice Bucket Challenge sweeping social media
“I’m actually blown away by it,” said Deane.
“I think it’s a lot of fun and … what a great idea. Whoever came up with it – I’m not sure who did – but what a great idea.”
The challenge was started by former Boston college baseball player Pete Frates. The 29-year-old has the fatal neuromuscular disease.
“When I heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge, I did some research,” said Geraldes. “Just hearing about it made me sad to know that some people out there are going through this. That’s why I decided this is something we should really focus on and try to get other people to focus on.”
WATCH: Global’s Gord Steinke accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
“You just look around and you see the team camaraderie,” added Deane.
“Here we are doing something that’s a blast for them, and at the same time we’re hoping that all these tweets and all these things these girls will do afterwards will spread the word about ALS.”
To donate to the ALS Society of Alberta, click here.