By Robert Frank
Some 6,000 young athletes aged seven to 18 and another 15,000 family members will converge on Île Jésus this weekend, as the Laval international soccer cup revs up.
Three hundred teams are slated to play at École des Competences 10 playing fields at 777 Bois de Boulogne, June 28-29, as well as at Cartier Park and Montmorency College greens, July 5-6. The fields will be in use from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. during the meet.
This is the 29th year that Laval has hosted the popular tournament. It started with a group of volunteer parents who brought eight teams comprising 150 players together in 1985.
What began as a regional competition has evolved during the past three decades into an international event that now attracts as many as 50,000 spectators.
Squads from as far away as the United States, Ontario and Newfoundland will compete this year in 484 A level and AA level matches, together with 243 teams from Quebec, including 96 from Laval.
The youth will be supported by 150 referee and line staff, as well as 300 volunteers led by organizing committee chair Monji Zitouni.
Organizers said that the competition aims to promote physical activity, healthy competition, team spirit, sportsmanship excellence and performance among the young players.
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