Vancouver Street Soccer League
Dr. Alan Bates has been a driving force in the Vancouver Street Soccer League for four years, and he’s seen it help players, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, in myriad ways—from finding better housing and employment to building community and reducing drug use.
As president, Bates has seen the league grow to nine teams, including Woodward’s FC, Portland Phoenix, and the Eastside Sun Eagles. There are teams for women, new immigrants, street youth, and First Nations players, and the league has sent representatives to the Homeless World Cup in Rio de Janeiro (2010) and in Paris (2011). Bates himself is also on the field every week as the head coach of the Portland FC, the team he cofounded with the Portland Hotel Community Services Society.
Bates has just been nominated by the Vancouver Whitecaps FC for the MLS W.O.R.K.S Community MVP Contest. The prize, for leaders who are making a real difference in their community, comes with a $10,000 purse for the winner’s favourite charity. It is based on fan voting, and Bates is currently in third place out of 19 nominees from clubs across Major League Soccer.
Cast your vote online here. You can vote as many times as you want until the contest closes on Friday, July 13 at 2 pm.
[Top Image: care of Vancouver Street Soccer]