Opening Ceremonies 2014
The first WCP Cup began with nine teams playing one another in four days. Now, over six years later, there are more than 41 teams playing in 19 days. The tournament not only includes the players, but extends to the fans, who come out with flags, drums, and their countries’ colours in support.
Regina’s WCP Cup began with the vision of Kevin Holness, who has played around the continent on professional soccer teams.
“It started out with three or four of us sitting around, saying we should do a World Cup Tournament in the old facility for our last year there,” said Holness. We didn’t think we would actually take the steps. Then I was playing soccer in Edmonton and one day after practice I went with a friend of mine to their mini-WorldCup. It was unbelievable just amazing. Then I moved home and discussed it with some friends. I woke up and said, OK, I’ll try it. And it took off from there.”
WCP stands for World Class Players, a name Holness took from the DJ group he was a part of in high school, in which every member played sports. From that idea, the name for the tournament fell into place. Holness said with help from athletes and organizers the tournament has taken off. Each team represents a country, and in the men’s division there are at least 12 players of that particular heritage on the team. The rest of the players are made up of other people in the soccer community.
“After the first year, we decided we have to keep this going,” said Holness. “bring so many different cultures together under one roof, one facility, with nobody fighting people cheering, wearing their colours, why not make it work? The whole impact of soccer on the world in general is something that I’d say contributes to our success – it’s a lifestyle.”
The atmosphere of the building is something to come out and see in itself. The WCP Cup is now affiliated with the Regina Multicultural Association, which builds it up even more. The tournament is fun, but definitely competitive. The level of play is high and the fans and the players are there to win.