June 20, 2019 11:41 am
Updated: June 20, 2019 12:26 pm

Valour FC superfans chanting their way to victory

Members of the Red River Rising, Valour FC's support group, demonstrate some of their game day chants to encourage the team.

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If you’ve been to a Valour FC home game, you may have noticed a particularly rowdy group of fans over in section 144.

Known as Red River Rising, they’re the official Valour FC supporters group, and they’ve been working on developing Winnipeg’s soccer culture since well before the team even set foot on IG Field.

“As soon as there was rumours that we were getting a CPL team is when the group kind of formed,” said Red River Rising “capo” Omar Kinnarath, one of the supporters who leads the chants and songs at Valour games.

“We didn’t have a team or an identity yet… and it’s grown to this. It’s just going to grow more. It’s going to be like Toronto.”

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Kinnarath told 680 CJOB there are between 250 and 300 people involved with the supporters’ group so far, from all backgrounds and ages, including 7-year-old superfan Sloan Connell, who attends every game, megaphone in hand, and also leads the chants.

“We want to set a base and have kids like Sloan grow up to be part of this tradition and have the songs become legacy songs to pass on for decades and decades,” said Kinnarath.

“We’ve heard first-hand from the players and the coaches how much they love it – that’s the reason why we do it.

“It’s part of our job as the first set of fans to get this going.”

READ MORE: Scottish artist tackling Valour FC as part of international soccer project

Sloan, whose dad Tim says comes from a long line of “crazy, screamy” sports fans, was pretty blunt about his support for the local team and only the local team.

“I hate every team except Valour FC,” he said.

That passion for the home side, said Kinnarath, is part of what Red River Rising is trying to put across. The fan group wants to give opponents a headache every time they visit Winnipeg.

“We’re not gonna make other teams come here and have a good day,” he said.

“With the acoustics of that stadium, everybody on the field especially hears us… and we’re not nice. We’re relentless.”

To hear recorded versions of the Valour FC chants and songs, visit the Red River Rising website.

WATCH: Deep local history will resonate with fans, says Valour FC coach

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