Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Dustin Cook

SPORTSMANSHIP FIRST – (Left) Alpine Aviaton gets a shot on goal against Yukon Yamaha in the Fundamentals 2 2006-07 boy’s division;.

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Photo by Dustin Cook

A Wolf pack player is guarded by three members of the Haines Junction Eagles in Toonie Tournament action Saturday afternoon at the Canada Games Centre.

Fun and fair play on display in toonie tourney

More than 500 players representing 49 Yukon minor soccer teams took to indoor courts across the city to play in the Whitehorse FC annual futsal Toonie Tournament.

By Dustin Cook on December 11, 2017

More than 500 players representing 49 Yukon minor soccer teams took to indoor courts across the city to play in the Whitehorse FC annual futsal Toonie Tournament.

The goal of the tournament was not to win for top team prizes, but to have fun and raise money and food donations for the Whitehorse Food Bank.

Prizes were awarded in each age division for teams that donated the most food items as well as the most monetary donations for the food bank.

Yukon Yamaha in the Fundamentals 2 division 2006-07 donated the most food items overall with a total of 408 items.

Although the league didn’t have a final count Saturday afternoon during the final day of action, two giant crates were completely filled with food with some even overflowing around it.

League president Michael Lauer said it looks like they already exceeded last year’s amount.

Even though the tournament was round-robin style without playoffs to decide a winner, there wasn’t a shortage of games over the two-day tournament.

A total of 94 games were played at Vanier Catholic Secondary School and the Canada Games Centre on Friday evening and throughout Saturday.

Lauer said for the past few years of the tournament they have not been focusing on placing and awarding gold medals, but on promoting fair play and sportsmanship.

As well as teams playing in the Whitehorse FC futsal league this season, the tournament hosted teams from Dawson City and Haines Junction.

In the 2010-11 coed division with 13 teams, the Dawson City Lions 2 team won the fair play award in the division, awarded to a team as chosen by their competitors for demonstrating the most sportsmanship in games.

In pool play, the Lions finished second with two wins, a tie, and one loss to the pool winner Integra Tire/Yukon Tire.

Winning teams of the fair play award shared the large trophy and had their own opportunities to hold it and take photos as a team.

Organizing the large tournament of four games for each team took a lot of team effort, Lauer said, and they had a bit of help from a younger crowd who refereed the games.

The league offers referee training and clinics for youth, Lauer said, who are between the ages of 12 and 15 and want to carry the whistle to monitor games with younger participants.

At the end of the tournament, the teams gathered in a huddle to celebrate the donation achievements of all the teams and to hand out the fair play award honour to the chosen teams in each age group.

The first tournament of the year, this was also the first tournament ever for some players who took up the game this year for the first time and are learning the indoor sport, Lauer said.

He said it was a great experience for these athletes and all the teams had a fun time, which was the goal.

The leagues will continue their futsal play in the new year leading up to the next big event – the Yukon Championships to be held in March.

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