Richmond FC officially launched it’s new football program this week, to coincide with interest in Canada’s Olympic women’s’ national team and their run to a gold medal.

The new program, profiled in the latest issue of the Richmond Sentinel, will bring Sunday soccer training to kids of families registered to the Richmond Food Bank, and with the sponsorship assistance of Coho Commissary, will provide equipment, coaching, shirts, and food – free of charge.

“We couldn’t have done it without Coho’s support,” says RFC Executive Director Marius Roevde, who has stickhandled the creation of the program after earlier Food Bank programs during Covid saw our soccer community come out in droves to help deliver food to those in need.

Coho will be celebrated on the back of RFC’s playing kit as a club sponsor this season, along with Go Auto Columbia Chrysler, indigenous soccer program Hope and Health, and an as yet unannounced shirt front sponsor. Tim Hortons continues to sponsor younger age groups.

“We’ve gone from a club without a sponsor partner for decades to a club with five as of today, and that’s allowing us to keep program fees down, allow the kids to keep their playing kit after the season, and expand with programs like these,” says RFC Chair Chris Parry. “Our under-4’s program launched last season and brought over 100 little ones to the park, the free football program will hopefully do likewise, and our ongoing programming is benefiting from so many new faces and happy experiences with growing numbers registering for the fall.”

Roevde hopes those getting their first taste of organized kids soccer will come back for more, and the club is prepared to help make that transition easy.

“We will start with training, then we will offer help for the most eager players to get into the regular programs to play games,” Roevde told The Sentinel. “Coho’s focus is ‘how can we help more people together?’ They are an amazing organization and exactly the organization we want to be identified with. Through doing good things and being a community partner, we are building a club and a brand that is so much more than just soccer. We are building a family that cares for everyone regardless of gender or background. Everyone is welcome in our club.”

Sessions will be held every Sunday at Hugh Boyd Park for 10 weeks. Registration details will be released in the fall.