2011 Football Canada Cup coming to U of L

The University of Lethbridge's Community Sports Stadium will play host to the biggest amateur football event in Canada next year when the 2011 Football Canada Cup comes to Lethbridge.

Lethbridge Sport Council made the announcement Friday afternoon.

"It will be a great opportunity for the community to showcase our new Community Sports Stadium plus our abundance of volunteers and community energy that will surround the event," says Kevin Kvame, Chair of the sports bid committee. "It is a national event that builds upon our desire to be a sports tourism destination of choice."

Football Canada Cup was created in 1992 as an under-19 national tackle football championship featuring the best high school and midget aged football players from across Canada who had not yet played at the university or junior level. The first competition was held in 1993, with the addition of the under-17 championship in 2004.

During its initial stage, the event involved a series of qualifying games across Canada to determine which four provincial teams would advance to the final four tournament. The championship now allows for every province that is a member of Football Canada to submit a provincial team at the national final.

In 2010, the event will include an under-18 championship and will be held in Wolfville, N.S. at Acadia University. The 2010 event will see the greatest provincial representation in the history of the Football Canada Cup, including two Ontario teams and one team each from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Québec and Nova Scotia.

The July 2011 event at the University of Lethbridge promises to showcase the area's strong football pedigree to the nation.

"Southern Alberta Zone 1 football is thriving. The teams that make up the Southern Alberta High School Football League are talented, ambitious, entertaining and have an enthusiastic and dedicated following," says Dr. Gary Bowie, Chair of Lethbridge Sport Council. "Team Alberta in 2009 had many players on their roster from Zone 1. By hosting the Canada Cup we hope to influence even more up and coming football stars."