The ninth annual GOAL Initiatives Foundation soccer festival kicked off on Saturday morning, and this year’s edition includes a new theme.
“This is the first year we do a wellness festival,” said Paul Desbaillets, the event founder.
Alcohol will not be sold on the first day of the two-day event, which began at Percival Molson Stadium at 10 a.m. Part of the warmups involved yoga.
“It’s not really about abstaining, it’s about balance. And that’s what this is all about,” he said.
The festival raises money for organizations like Dans la Rue, which helps homeless and at-risk youth, and involves a tournament between recreational teams often made up of friends or co-workers. There are also games from major tournaments currently in progress, such as the Women’s World Cup, the Gold Cup, and the Copa America, playing on a big screen inside.
The event is slated to resume at 10 a.m. on Sunday and will run until 6 p.m. that evening. For some participants, it was a refreshing way to enjoy a blistering hot day.
“It just introduces you to a lot of people you might not have had the chance to meet,” said participant Krystina Zucchet. “And it’s just fun!”
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