Christine Watson

Christine Watson

At home on the soccer pitch

Maple Pool United player to represent Canada at Homeless World Cup of Soccer

Maple Pool United is sending its third player in as many seasons to the Homeless World Cup of Soccer.

Christine Watson of Courtenay has been selected to play for the Canadian women’s team at this year’s tournament in October in Santiago, Chile. Officials from Street Soccer Canada named her to the squad following the Western Canadian qualifier in North Vancouver in May.

“I’m thrilled. Couldn’t believe it,” said Watson, 41. “I’m kind of shocked because I didn’t think I played that well. I scored a goal but I’m older and I get tired quite quickly.”

Operating at the Maple Pool Campground, the local street soccer program enables homeless and marginalized individuals to exercise, socialize and compete in a fun environment. The sport involves four-person teams that play on a field about 22 metres long with hockey-size nets.

The program has allowed Watson to relive her teen years when she played soccer in the Valley.

“I really like the soccer because it’s fun, and it’s free,” she said. “It’s something I need. I couldn’t see myself not having a sport or something like that. I enjoy it, even though it’s hard on me. I get frustrated sometimes.”

Years back, Watson had attained a first-year electrician ticket. In two weeks, she made more money than she had in a month at any other job. But plans for an apprenticeship were thwarted when she was attacked by a pit bull in 1999. She underwent eight reconstructive surgeries to repair the muscle in her cheek and around her mouth.

To this day, Watson suffers migraines, which is part of the reason she can’t work full-time. She receives disability assistance, supplementing her income with a paper route. She has been on a methadose recovery program for about eight years.

“It’s tough to get off it,” said Watson, who has received assistance from the Care-A-Van mobile medical unit’s smoking cessation program.

Her team will host a car wash and other fundraisers in the coming months to help fund her trip to South America.

“We’re pretty stoked about it,” said Maple Pool coach/co-ordinator Grant Shilling, who refers to his squad as “the little team that could.”

Watson is the third member of Maple Pool United selected to represent Canada at the Homeless World Cup. The first was Joan Mathias who played at the 2012 tournament in Mexico. Then Heath Young was selected for last year’s event in Poland.

The Homeless World Cup caters to all footballing abilities, meaning each team plays for a trophy. This year’s tournament is expected to host more than 500 players from 64 countries.

 

 

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gp Vanier in Courtenay. Circa 2018. Photo courtesy Comox Valley Schools
Another COVID exposure alert for Vanier Secondary in Courtenay

Island Health has sent another exposure alert to parents of students attending… Continue reading

“Of Bears at Fridges, drinking Planes and Cinderella’s Shoe” is Jordis Trumby’s first children’s book. Photo supplied.
Courtenay author writes, illustrates first children’s book

When is a collaboration not a collaboration? At first glance, Courtenay author… Continue reading

The 5th Street Bridge requires structural improvements, new coating to repair and prevent corrosion, and deck repairs. File photo
City of Courtenay awards contract for 5th Street Bridge project

The City of Courtenay has awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of… Continue reading

Pumpjacks pump crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Gas prices jump in the Valley – and experts predict prices to rise even more

“We still could be talking about record prices…”

NIC Practical Nursing instructor Barb McPherson (right) is pictured with student Rebecca Wood in 2018 in NIC’s SIM lab. NIC photo
Learn about Practical Nursing opportunities for Island students

Students interested in exploring a future in health care are invited to… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

t
Province invests $2M in three Vancouver Island food hubs

Hub network provides shared-use processing facilities to small agri-businesses

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Two Vancouver police officers were struck by a car when the driver learned he was being arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to pay for food. (Vancouver Police Department)
Driver being arrested for alleged food order fraud rams Vancouver police with car

Two officers are in stable condition, suffering with soft tissue injuries following the incident

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

Residential lawn and garden watering with a sprinkler is not permitted during Stage 3 water restrictions. File photo
Stage 3 restrictions apply to Comox Valley Water System during pipe repair

The Comox Valley Water System will move to Stage 3 from March… Continue reading

Most Read