Soccer players Italy-bound

Seven locals are part of a Vancouver Island so team competing at the World Masters Games in Turin, Italy.

Seven locals from the Comox Valley Masters soccer club are part of a Vancouver Island team competing in the 50-plus division at the World Masters Games next month in Turin, Italy.

The Islanders are comprised of members from the old Arbutus Athletics who have partnered with players from Victoria Gorge. The squad competed at the 2009 Masters Games in Sydney, Australia, where it played well but lost to the eventual gold medal winner in the quarter finals.

The team had such an amazing time that it decided to do it again in Italy.

Held every four years, the event is the biggest sporting competition in the world, comprised of 30 different sports. Sydney had 30,000 athletes participate.

“We are looking forward to playing teams from other countries and making lasting sporting memories,” midfielder Ron Quilter said. “The opening and closing ceremonies are highlights. The team has been training hard and playing very well in many warm up tournaments we have participated in over the last few months. We are really hoping to bring back a medal this time.”

Along with Quilter, the other members from Comox Valley Masters Soccer are Pat Bell, Andy Marinus, Bruno Munger, Bill Lund, Mike Rogers and Steve Dietrich. They will be joined by seven members of Gorge and one member from Oceanside in Qualicum Beach.

The boys would love to have the public follow their progress during the Masters Games, which run Aug. 2-10.

The team faces Calgary Aug. 2, Strikers Canada Aug. 4, the Ogopogo Canadians Aug. 5 and the Barbagians Aug. 7. The quarter finals are Aug. 8, semis Aug. 9 and final Aug. 10.

Send a few words of encouragement or comments on the team blog at http://islandersdownunder.blogspot.ca/  or Google islandersdownunder.

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