Soccer players score a ship tour

Photo by Peter Mallett, Lookout

Photo by Peter Mallett, Lookout

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Members of Victoria’s new professional soccer team – Pacific Football Club – got their kicks away from the field last week when they boarded HMCS Ottawa during a visit to CFB Esquimalt.

Twenty-seven players and staff from the Canadian Premier League team met with sailors during a tour and filming of short promotional videos. The videos will be used during their special military appreciation game on July 20 at the Westhills Stadium in Langford against the HFX (Halifax) Wanderers.

The military community will receive a discount on their tickets to the game.

Midfielder Ben Fisk was among the team’s players who fully enjoyed the opportunity to visit a Canadian military base. Fisk’s family has strong ties to Canada’s navy, among them his grandfather Ronald Routledge. Routledge served as Coxswain on multiple Canadian warships including HMCS Algonquin and HMCS Huron.

“The men and women who work in Canada’s military are serving our country at the utmost level,” said Fisk. “It’s important for us to see what their lives are like, get to know about the jobs they do, and make new friends and connections for our club.”

Their tour of Ottawa included a visit to the machinery control room, engineering office, bridge, galley and messes. The visit concluded on the ship’s fo’c’sle where they posed for a group photo with the ship’s company.

Petty Officer Second Class Jacob Russell, a Combat Systems Engineer in Ottawa, and soccer fan, was one of the sailors conducting the guided tours.

“It’s always a pleasure showing what the navy has to offer and it’s good to have some great guests like this to show it to. Tours like these are a great opportunity to build new relationships and strengthen ties in our community.”

The Club is offering a special ticket price starting at $34 for military personnel and their families through a dedicated promolink, which includes a camouflage hat. The Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) Esquimalt will receive proceeds from the military ticket sales, as well as the team’s 50-50 draw on July 20.

A delegation from the MFRC will participate in the opening ceremonies with military family members escorting players, and military members and cadets spreading  flags on the field. The Naden Band will perform the National Anthem. 

Visit to purchase tickets.  Note that this link will bring you to the Ticketmaster buy page – simply select any seat and the Military Appreciation Package will automatically become available as a purchase option.  Should you have any questions about purchasing this package please call PFC at 778-584-6732.

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