Cascades pitch in at Gutsy Walk

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team spent Sunday afternoon contributing to an event and cause that’s near and dear to their hearts – the Abbotsford Gutsy Walk.

The fundraiser is in support of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, and this was the fourth year the UFV men’s soccer team has been involved. The Cascades’ special connection to the event is due to James Najman, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 11 and overcame long odds to play five years of university soccer at UFV. He’s been active in raising funds to help find a cure for inflammatory bowel diseases, and in 2014, he served as honourary chair of the Abbotsford Gutsy Walk.

On Sunday, the Cascades soccer men – joined by several members of the women’s soccer team and friends of the program – helped with set-up and takedown at Mill Lake Park, greeted participants as they arrived, handed out raffle tickets, and led the warm-up. They also raised $500 for the cause; the Abbotsford event raised a total of $20,966 according to the website.

“It’s an important event for us, because of James’s story – it’s personally affected our program, so it resonates with us,” Cascades men’s soccer head coach Tom Lowndes said. “It’s good for our players to get out in the community and show their support.”

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The University of the Fraser Valley is situated on the unceded traditional territory of the Stó:lō peoples. The Stó:lō have an intrinsic relationship with what they refer to as S’olh Temexw (Our Sacred Land); therefore, we express our gratitude and respect for the honour of living and working in this territory.

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