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Posted by Marketing, 17th December 2015
On Saturday December 19th at Silverbacks Park, Atlanta – the greater sporting community of Georgia will come together in support of an event that has colloquially come to be known as ‘The Father Christmas Cup.’ The event is now in its 12th year and has established itself as an annual soccer fundraiser that helps to showcase the power of sport in bringing together communities and showing togetherness in times of great need.
The core purpose of the event is to provide comfort and financial support to a family who will be experiencing their first Christmas without a loved one. The directors of the Father Christmas Cup select a beneficiary family or families that come from the local community and whilst the financial donation is important; it is the message of love and hope coming at such a pivotal time which carries the ability to instil life-changing values and to solidify community cohesion. The chosen beneficiaries this year are the families of Michael Christopher Childers and Detective Terence A. Green.
This year’s event is expected to run from 8:00am until about 6:30pm and will feature youth and adult soccer games, a youth-only raffle, silent auction, moment of silence for the honourees and the appearance of one Carlos Bocanegra, former USA men’s national team captain, ex-Rangers FC player and the new Technical Director of the latest MLS expansion team, Atlanta United.
There will be 58 teams entered across all age ranges – resulting in approximately 700 participants. With a plethora of spectators, beneficiary families and volunteers also involved on the day – it is a powerful way of creating generosity but also to show solidarity as a community through the medium of sport. The notions of comfort, support and unity are the central aspects of this event and a large majority of the people involved will have direct ties to the beneficiary families. From referees, coaches and administrators to business leaders, sponsors and families – everyone will show their support and demonstrate the strength of the soccer community and its power to unite when it is needed most.
The presence of Atlanta United this year (the newest franchise to the MLS) is an added bonus and their involvement in the event is a fantastic gesture and addition. The team will join the MLS as its 22nd franchise and have already begun to set records for pre-sales of season tickets for their entry season in 2017. A lot of the players, staff and executive members of the club are widely experienced within the game of soccer and have seen globally how much this sport has the ability to bring people together when they need it most. Bocanegra himself will no doubt be looking forward to taking to the field once more amongst what on this occasion will be his peers.
Global Image Sports is proud to be an active sponsor to this event and will be sending out a team on Saturday to take part in the competition – with the chance to take on the Atlanta United players in the process! Our professional partner clubs have furthermore lent their support to the Father Christmas Cup, signing nine pro shirts to help the fundraiser; showing their unanimity to the families through the medium of soccer. Glasgow Rangers themselves have given their best wishes to Bocanegra, as a former player in the Scottish championship-winning team.
As a final bit of food for thought – the core founding principle of the Father Christmas Cup comes from a story left on the fields of Flanders during World War I. On Christmas Day in 1914, German and Allied forces stopped shelling each other and instead met in no-man’s land to partake in a game of football. This image of casting aside one’s pre-conceived ideals and instead to show compassion, good nature and non-prejudice is a very potent message that underpins the substantive nature of what the Father Christmas Cup aims to get to the heart of in speaking to the families it selects as beneficiaries.
Global Image Sports would like to wish everyone involved on Saturday the very best in the running of the day and also to send a message of support to the families involved in the event. Soccer as a source of community spirit is a powerful force indeed at this time of year.