Two of Canada’s leading varsity soccer teams will meet in the Okanagan this summer.
On Wednesday, August 24th, the UBC Thunderbirds and Calgary Dinos will face off at the Kalamalka Bowl in Vernon.
The game was organized by Vernon Secondary School Panthers head coach Sean Smith, who says the idea was to promote football in the northern Okanagan.
“The idea was to have an event that the community could get behind and support,” said Smith, who is also president of the Kalamalka Bowl Society.
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Exhibition play takes place at Greater Vernon Athletics Park, the brightly lit athletic field at the intersection of Highway 97 and College Way.
The neutral ground game is part of a two-day event promoting football in the region, with a youth skills camp being held at Polson Park on Tuesday afternoon. The Wednesday game starts at 7 p.m
When asked how he managed to feud UBC and Calgary in the Okanagan, Smith said he learned the Dinos were considering playing in either Kelowna or Kamloops.
“Why don’t you play in Vernon?” asked Schmidt. “It’s half and we’re going to do a good job making it a community event.”
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Smith says one of her goals is to make sure both teams “not only get good competition, but have fun. We want some events for her, dinner for her, all that stuff.”
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He also said the idea came to life two years ago, but that it was shelved in 2020 due to COVID-19 and the U-Sports didn’t have exhibition games last year.
“And three weeks ago we got both teams to agree (to play at Vernon),” Smith said.
In addition to a halftime show, Smith is hoping for a great atmosphere at the game.
“It’s not just two teams playing. We want to do it professionally, have announcements, all those things,” Smith said. “We hope that the whole thing attracts people.”
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Because this is a preseason game, it’s unknown how many Okanagan athletes will be in the game, but last year UBC had four regional players while Calgary had five.
Global News has reached out to UBC and Calgary for comment on exhibition play.
Visit KalBowl.com for more information about the game.
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