Local soccer standout Dylan Bams leaves this week for Kazan, Russia to represent Team Canada at the International University Sports Federation (FISU) games next month.
The first stop is Guelph, Ont. for a training camp before the first game against France July 5. The squad then faces Peru July 8 and Brazil July 10. There are 16 teams in the tournament. The final is July 16.
Bams, a 23-year-old midfielder from Fanny Bay, earned a spot on the 18-man roster from more than 100 CIS and NCAA players. He is enrolled in physical education at the University of Toronto, where he finished a five-year stint playing with the Varsity Blues soccer team. He was a four-time provincial all-star. In his last year he was named team MVP. He helped the Blues to three provincial finals, winning the title in 2010. The team also qualified for three national tournaments, twice losing in the semis.
Bams grew up playing soccer in the Comox Valley, moving through the house league system as a kid and eventually into rep teams. At 14, he played for Nanaimo’s Upper Island Gunners in the B.C. Select League. In high school, he helped the 2008 G.P Vanier soccer team to a Vancouver Island championship and a berth at the B.C. tournament.
He is seeking financial assistance to attend the FISU games as funding does not cover the costs.
Carey Cordocedo, owner of Top Notch Soccer in Courtenay, donated a pair of cleats to Bams.
“Considering he is a local boy filling his dreams by representing Canada at these games, and knowing and playing with this young man, I am excited for him,” Cordocedo said.
The summer Universiade is a multi-sport event held every two years, second only to the Olympics in terms of the number of athletes and countries. The FISU games are open to athletes at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of Jan. 1 in the year of the competition. Participants must be full-time college or university students, or have graduated in the year preceding the event.
Those wishing to help can contact Bams at 250-335-3373 (home), 416-206-8719 (cell) or Dylan.firstname.lastname@example.org.