The NCFA’s Peace Fields Project, Ambassador, Mick Gale (Front row, right), presented Valour Patriots Soccer Club with their Peace Field Project Plaque, which officially twins the club’s designated area of play with Flanders Peace Field, Messines, Belgium, site of the 1914, First World War, Christmas Truces. The ceremony was attended by a local City Councillor and a Member of the Legislative Assembly. They both reported that they were happy and excited to be the first soccer peace pitch in Canada to be twinned with Flanders Fields.
“The Valour Patriots Soccer and Mini-Soccer Clubs provide the opportunity for youth in the West End of Winnipeg, Manitoba to learn and love the game of soccer from a young age.
Our Mini-Soccer program starts at age four and shows children how fun the game of soccer, and getting outdoor physical activity can be, in general. Friendship and physical activity are the focus from ages four to six.
Youth aged seven to nine are also part of our Mini-Soccer program, but they move up to the half-field version of the game, where they learn more about the structure of soccer, preparing them to enter more competitive levels of soccer as the move along.
By age 10, our players move into the more structured provincial soccer system. Camaraderie and physical activity are still the major focus, but now, as players are older, the game becomes more competitive.
The Valour Patriots Soccer Club is a member in good standing of the Saint Charles Soccer Association, the Winnipeg Youth Soccer Association, the Manitoba Soccer Association, the Canadian Soccer Association, and, by extension, they are connected to the global soccer community through FIFA.
The Valour Patriots Soccer Club is comprised of a diverse array of players from many different national origins and religions. The players and parents in the program are unified in friendship and camaraderie through the game of soccer, and for the past 10 years they have been a very successful club, winning several league and tournament championships in the city of Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba.
The Valour Patriots Soccer Club, and Valour Community Centre are proud to be a part of Peace Fields Project, and we look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with the NCFA and we relish the opportunity to engage in a cross-border, cross-cultural exchange with other members of the global network of soccer/football clubs affiliated with the Peace Fields Project!”
Jimmy Marnoch, GENERAL MANAGER, VALOUR COMMUNITY CENTRE, writes; the history of the Valour Road area of Winnipeg.
Valour Road runs north-south thru the West End of Winnipeg MB. Formerly known as Pine Street, the name of the street changed to Valour Road after 3 residents of the street all received the Victoria Cross for actions of bravery during WW1.
The West End is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, and formed the West End of the old City of Winnipeg before Winnipeg merged together with several other surrounding municipalities. So, in actual fact, there are several other neighborhoods located to the west of the West End, and the West End is actually in the “Core Area” of the new City of Winnipeg.
The West End is a largely working class neighborhood, and it is very diverse (home to many Metis Canadians, Indigenous Canadians, and Canadians of European, Asian, and African descent).
In addition to the Metis, Indigenous, and Anglo-Canadian families living here, the West End has always been a home to new immigrants as well (Icelanders formed a large part of the population earlier in the 1900’s (side note, the first gold medal in Olympic ice hockey was won by the Winnipeg Falcons – a team made up largely of Icelandic immigrants from the West End), Portuguese and Filipino families began immigrating to the area in the 70’s and still make up a significant portion of population, and more recently many families of African and Middle Eastern origins have settled in the neighborhood).
The West End was formerly served by 3 community centres (Clifton, Isaac Brock, and Orioles). Those three centres merged operations in 2006, and renamed under the banner Valour Community Centre, and the sports teams adopted the name Valour Patriots (logos are attached).
Here is a short “Heritage Minute” video that aired on Canadian TV dramatizing the history behind the Valour Road name. https://www.historicacanada.ca/content/heritage-minutes/valour-road
Here is a very quick rundown of Valour Road from Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valour_Road
Here is another article from the Winnipeg Free Press going into a bit more detail. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Valour-Road-Victoria-Cross-medals-find-new-home-at-war-museum-177329951.html
And here is a link to Valour Community Centre’s website. http://valourcc.ca/