Centraide Cup: corporate competition for a charitable cause

MONTREAL- In its second year of existence, the annual Centraide Cup soccer tournament raised almost $400,000, organizers announced Saturday morning.

The money will be split between Centraide and Montreal Impact Foundation- a non-profit affiliated with the MLS franchise. It will go toward needy families and children, according to Centraide. The tournament takes place at Saputo Stadium, where the MLS team plays and takes place over two days.

“Companies play against each other, so it’s very interesting,” said Lili-Anna Peresa, executive director of Centraide. “Each company holds tryouts to find the best players they have.”

Some companies fielded athletic squads which had clearly practiced together. Others fielded teams that looked culled from The Office television series. And in some cases, companies had the opportunity to channel business competition onto the field.

The RBC team, for instance, beat the Bank of Montreal 1-0. RBC players claimed a clear victory. But BMO players – speaking in tones that are mostly in jest – point to a goal they scored but nullified by the referee.

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“Of course when a bank plays against another bank, the competition is on the field, and in business strong,” Peresa said. “But it is very friendly.”

Inter-corporate rivalries were not the only concern.

“It was really funny to see the pool, because some of our customers are part of this competition,” said Emma Sansfaçon, who works for the Croix Bleue insurance company.

She played forward on the field. She said the first day her company was lucky none of the teams they drew were clients.

“So no hard feelings or anything.”

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