For the fifth year in a row, the University of the Fraser Valley men’s and women’s soccer programs will be involved with the Abbotsford Gutsy Walk for Crohn’s and Colitis.
The Gutsy Walk – taking place on Sunday, June 3 at over 60 locations nationwide – is Canada’s largest community fundraiser for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two main forms of inflammatory bowel diseases.
The Abbotsford edition of the event will be held at Mill Lake Park (Bevan Ave. entrance), with registration set for 9 a.m., warm-up at 10 a.m., and the walk (2.5 km or 5 km distances) at 10:15 a.m. Members of the Cascades soccer teams will be on hand to help with set-up, lead the warm-up, and participate in the walk.
The UFV soccer teams’ involvement with the Gutsy Walk dates back to 2014, when Cascades men’s soccer player James Najman served as honourary chair of the Abbotsford event. Najman, who wrapped up his playing eligibility in 2016-17, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 11 and overcame long odds to play university soccer.
“Obviously with James being personally affected, it’s something that’s close to home for us,” Cascades head coach Tom Lowndes said, reflecting on his team’s ongoing participation in the Gutsy Walk. “We always like to lend our support and help as much as we can for a great cause. It’s our fifth year being involved, and it’s getting bigger and better every single year. We’re happy to assist as much as we can.”