ArcelorMittal Dofasco Grassroots Soccer Pan Am Legacy Program started in 2015 as a legacy from the 2015 Pan-Am Games, a major international multi-sport games that were hosted in Toronto, Hamilton and other cities in the Golden Horseshoe area and celebrated around the world. Hamilton’s new CIBC Pan Am Soccer Stadium (Tim Hortons Field) was the host site for the 8 team competition for both Men’s and Women’s soccer games.
This Grassroots Soccer Program was established through the partnership of Hamilton Soccer, City of Hamilton, SportHamilton, and Ontario Soccer, securing generous funding from ArcelorMittal Dofasco and Hamilton Athletic Trust so that children ages 5-12 years of age, in the Stadium precinct (Ward 3) could participate without financial barriers and learn to love the game of soccer. The commitment of volunteer coaches who wanted to make a difference in a child’s life and to give back to the community, combined with approximately 500 enthusiastic local children, kicked off a successful 10-week program hosted at Tim Hortons Field on Tuesday evenings throughout July and August. All 500 players were registered with Ontario Soccer and East Hamilton Soccer Club. In 2016 over 125 of the 550 registrants received were new Canadians from Syria who were supported by liaison translators from YMCA. Parents each year have been extremely grateful for this program that has developed both confidence and physical sport skills in their children but most of all has provided a fun-filled active opportunity with friends all throughout the summer, playing on the magnificent Tim Hortons Field.
Promotion of the Grassroots Program is driven by contacting local schools in both HWDSB and HWCDSB and providing demonstrations for the children, and registration forms. As well, local media, recreational groups, Family Day programs, etc were also used to promote the program to Ward 3 residents.
Volunteer coaches are provided with a soccer clinic through Ontario Soccer technical staff and physical literacy and movement preparation training through SportHamilton’s Hamilton Moves initiative.
"My children learned something new every week. Their skills have improved significantly. We will certainly be signing up next year."
"My daughter enjoyed the program a lot. It was her first time ever playing soccer. She was sad when the program ended.
Great coaches! They looked like they were having fun and cared about the kids. Training was great for anyone that has never played the sport before.