Are you ready for some football?
The Comox Valley Raiders are, and they invite everyone to join them this Saturday at the Comox Valley Sports Sports Centre as they help celebrate the City of Courtenay’s Centennial at the Sports Festival. As part of the proceedings, the Raiders are putting on a mini game complete with trophy – the Centennial Cup.
The game goes from 12-1 p.m. and involves the Raiders’ youngest players, eight to 11 years old. “This will be an excellent opportunity to see our little guys in action,” said Damon Mair, the new head coach for the Raiders’ Bantam team.
“An hour on either side of the game there will be football related drills and a skills competition open to the public for players aged eight to 18 with prizes given out by the City and B.C. Lions’ alumni (Cory Philpot, Jim “Dirty 30” Young, Tony (TC) Collier, Gerry Hornett, Nick Hebeler, Lyall Woznesensky, Randy Graham and Al Wilson as well as former Edmonton Eskimo kicker Dave Cutler) and the BC FeLions Dance Team there to support and encourage the participants,” Mair said.
Mair notes that the mini-game and skills competition lead in perfectly to the Tailgate Party the City is putting on immediately afterwards. “The skills competition is a great way for new players to try football and meet the alumni face to face as they will be running the stations,” he added.
Mair recently relocated to the Valley from Calgary, where he coached for 10 years. He notes the Raiders did not field a Bantam-aged (14 to 15 year old) team last season and has taken on the challenge of rebuilding the team this season. More information on the Raiders is available at comoxvalleyraiders.com
On June 21, the Raiders held their annual Father’s Day Dads vs. Kids game – a no-gear, all-fun tilt at Woodcote Park. After the game, the players, parents, friends and families enjoyed a barbecue lunch.
Fittingly, Saturday’s football activities at the Sports Centre help kick off Courtenay’s 100-year celebration with Homecoming Week, June 27 to July 5. The Centennial Sports Festival and Tailgate Party around the Sports Centre will feature lots of sporting events for families during the day.
“Bring your truck, your BBQ, your boom-box, your best chili recipe and even your big screen to pull down your tailgate for the Valley’s first tailgate party for adults in the afternoon and evening,” the City states on its website.
Tailgaters can come with or without a vehicle and enjoy the party with a chili cook-off, entertainment, music and a jumbo screening of the CFL season-opening Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders game with kickoff at 5 p.m. Tailgaters are encouraged to come early to enjoy pre- and post-game festivities including live music by XLR8.
The day starts with a sports festival, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with football and soccer games from the respective Comox Valley minor league teams, as well as a Comox Valley Glacier Kings road hockey game.
The football theme continues at 3 p.m. as the Comox Valley has its first-ever official Tailgate Party, and the Comox Valley Record is turning it into a fundraiser for the Centennial Legacy Endowment Fund.
“We are bringing in a dunk tank, and getting as many Comox Valley dignitaries as we can to sit in the ‘chair’ for charity,” said Record editor Terry Farrell. “Mayor Jangula and many of the councillors have already committed to taking a turn in the tank. All funds raised will go to the endowment fund, so it’s a great cause.”
Everyone who contributes to the dunk tank fundraiser will also be entered into a draw for Centennial T-shirts. Entries are still being accepted for the Great Courtenay Chili Cookoff, with a grand prize of $500.
To book your free parking spot for the tailgate party, or to sign up for the chili cookoff, go to courtenay.ca/100