JUMP's Charity Soccer Tournament a Success
Toronto FC captain and community members share fun filled day.
When the dust settled on the hot and sunny day that it was, there was no question that everyone had enjoyed themselves. These satisfied people were both players and spectators who attended a charity soccer tournament, hosted by the Jewish Urban Meeting Place (JUMP) on Sunday, July 25, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
In order to play, each player had to raise $118, with the funds going directly toward JUMP’s great programs, trips and volunteer initiatives. JUMP is a non-profit organization which helps connect young, Jewish professionals, between the ages of 22 and 34. The tournament, held at Oaklands Stadium at De La Salle College, was sponsored by Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, Strub Pickles, Lazar Yitzchok, and Steam Whistle.
Each of the six teams participating was composed of at least five players. Games were played on half fields, with each team fielding four players and a goalie. The participants were supplied with team jerseys, a kosher barbeque, beer, and a minimum of two round robin games and two playoff games.
Sports bags and high-quality water-bottles were awarded to the top two teams in the tournament. In addition, raffles took place throughout the day, as people had a chance to win signed Toronto FC jerseys, a signed soccer ball, hockey jerseys, scarves and a camera.
On hand for the tournament was one of the day’s biggest attractions, Dwayne De Rosario, captain of Toronto FC. The opportunity to attend the event was “special,” De Rosario told Shalom Life.
“It shows you where soccer is at in this country and in Toronto, to show that all the communities and the Jewish community [specifically] is playing soccer here, so it’s nice to see,” said the midfielder. “Soccer is very diverse and it’s nice to see how far people are taking it, and that they’re enjoying it. Everyone’s getting touches on the ball and they’re having a good time.”
According to JUMP Director Debbie Osiel, the organization offers plenty of different programs all year round, so that everyone can somehow get involved. “We really try to create events that cater to our demographic,” she said. When people have suggestions, they bring them forth and we really want to try to do as much as we can to cater to what the participants are looking for.” JUMP offers trips to New York and Israel, and also runs programs at its centre. These programs can vary between educational, social, spiritual or religious.
“I think people who are in the city, who not necessarily came from where they are living now, want to meet other people in the city,” said Jeremy Pilarski, one of the players in the tournament. Pilarski was also a chair of the event, along with Nils Binstock, Boris Ladizhinsky, and Grant Valentine. “It’s a good place for them to get together in a casual and religious if you want to but not religious if you don’t want to type of environment.”
Pilarski also talked about what he hopes to take away with him one day when he will be too old to attend JUMP events. “[It is important] to know that there is a community for us and there are lots of people who you can get to know,” he said. “I think in the future when we’re all older and able to give to charity, we’ll have organizations to be part of and to give back to, and that’s the biggest thing.”
De Rosario echoed Pilarski’s thoughts. “They came out here for a good cause. It’s to raise money and I think to support the community is very important,” he said. “That’s how we develop not only sports, but a future for the kids through our communities.”
For more information about JUMP and upcoming events, please visit www.jumponline.ca