Girls Side To Face BFC LadiesAfter nearly 12 months of planning, fundraising and training, the North Toronto Soccer Club’s Nitros U16 Girls (Nitros1999) are ready to take on the likes of Blackpool FC Girls & Ladies, Manchester City WFC, Burnley FC Girls & Ladies, Blackpool Sixth Form College and UCLAN second team for some fun international rivalry later this month.
From 12-22 March the Nitros1999 girls team will participate in an intense 10-day tour of England. The team will be based in Blackpool and will work with members of the Blackpool FC Ladies coaching staff throughout their stay.
“Whether you call it football or soccer, it’s all about connecting teenage girls from two nations through sport and friendship,” says Mac Barlow, Club Secretary and Assistant Head Coach at Blackpool FC Girls and Ladies.
Nitros1999 coach and former Blackpool Ladies Team Manager Dave Kelly added: “Being a well-rounded, competitive soccer player is not just about what you do on the field, it is as much about who and what you are off the field.”
With that in mind, the Nitros1999 tour is based around four key objectives: to improve individual skills and knowledge of the game; to build team character and culture by competing at a higher level and in unfamiliar surroundings; to develop a better understanding of the world the players live in by doing some community outreach; and finally, to learn about and experience different cultures.
Kelly continued: “These qualities are among those exemplified by the Nitros1999 players. Over the course of the tour the girls will play five matches against local teams, train with the Blackpool FC Ladies team, meet some young Canadians who are now playing football professionally in England, watch a Barclays Premier League game and visit the National Football Museum. Importantly they’ll also spend a day at a local Blackpool school helping teach soccer skills and share some of their own academic skills, including language instruction with some of the students.”
Undertaking such a comprehensive tour meant that a portion of the tour required outside financial support to offset some of the costs. Again, the Nitros1999 were charged with the responsibility of raising funds utilising a variety of tactics. In response the team raised nearly $16,000 through crowdsourcing, bake sales, raffle tickets, and corporate donations.
Generous corporate donors include: Hotspex, Oakville Kitchen & Bath Centre, RBC Orchard International Inc., BMO, Steeles Paint, Grandvalley Paving & Interlock, and Joe Cacciola Grand Painting. beSPEAK Communications and At The Junction Consulting also generously donated goods and services to help make the tour a success.