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Port Moody Bandits Soccer Club travel to Jamaica
4/3/2009
At the turn of the year, the Port Moody girls under 17 soccer team from Vancouver, Canada made their way to Jamaica for a 7 night trip and a soccer match. The team stayed at the all inclusive Starfish Hotel in Trelawny (home of Olympic 100 meters Champion, Usain Bolt) and traveled to Frome, for their game against local club Reno FC for Savannalamar, Westmoreland.

They encounter a strong opponent on the day and ended up losing the match by a score of 5 to 2. However, all was not lost as the experience gained by playing against their local counterparts was invaluable and after spending time with the players after the match, it was evident the full scope of the cultural exchange which occurred.

During their stay the group visited local sites such as the world famous Rick Caf in Negril, Glistening Waters cave in Trelawny and the Rose Hall Estate, home of former plantation owner Annie Palmer. The group enjoyed the many amenities offered at the Starfish Resort especially the sunfish sail boats which were popular with both parent and players.

Upon their return, the group leader added these comments about their trip.

Allister:

Again, just a note to thank you for setting up a trip with memories that will last a lifetime. Our group of 34 truly had the time of our lives. I cannot begin to tell you of the endless laughs, and good times. I will post the pictures on a website shortly, but have attached a few for you to look at now. The fellow (forgot his name already) who took us on our day trip to the soccer game and Negril was exceptional, as were the 2 bus drivers, who were never in a hurry, insisted we stay at Ricks Cafe for dinner, and even went out to get extra water for us at the soccer game. They all went well beyond our expectations. The Starfish was the best...not high end, but so much fun. It had a lot of charm, the food was fantastic, the Hobie cat sailboats were my favourite thing ever (it was really windy sometimes and those boats were so much fun we got plummeted by water and had to hang on for dear life think tsunami) and the hotel had entertainment that was fabulous and provided lots of laughs (one of the parents ended up having to be part of the Village People and sing and dance to the song YMCA).

Best of all was the soccer game we had so many kids watching and holding our Canadian flag and cheering us on. When our goalie got hurt we had to put in my nephew Paul, and even the Jamaicans started cheering on Paula (as we were pretending he was female). The girls gave away their soccer boots, jerseys, shin pads and socks to the kids on the sidelines who desperately wanted to know if they could get cleats from Canada. It was a very touching thing, and though we lost the game, we won in the end watching the interaction between the Jamaicans and our players. It certainly sent a good message to our girls, who are from such an affluent area, to see how important even a pair of cleats could be to children in another country. We are planning to round up many used cleats, jerseys, etc and send a care package down to the president of the soccer club whose address i managed to track down in hopes that he can distribute them to kids in that area unable to purchase their own.

We also went to the Rose Hall, golfing, the Glistening waters (luminous waters) and Margaritaville in Montego Bay. It went much too quickly!


Thanks again for your help. Leslie Hannigan

Bill Tremanan (Port Moody head coach): The trip was a great success and the players and parents both had a great time! Well done.




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