A weekend to remember . . . . Our third annual Steve Nash Foundation Charity Shield brought us back to The Gem Saloon and back to Socceroof, two places we feel right at home! We welcomed back supporters Guinness, Lyft, NYCFC, Halo Top Creamery, Hu Chocolate and tabl’eau Filtered Water, and were thrilled to bring Legends, Upper 90 Soccer, Gatorade, Rolling Leaf Tea, MPOWERD, and Thread into the Charity Shield fold.
Our Shield Friday Night brought together another wonderful table of supporters, each donating to “buy” a team that they drew randomly from jerseys emblazoned by Upper 90. Wrapped in their Charity Shield supporters scarves, owners dined on the Gem’s delicious food, Guinness selections, tabl’eau filtered still and sparkling water from tabl’eau’s gorgeous glacial blue artisan glass bottles, etched with the Charity Shield logo, and Rolling Leaf’s perfect teas. After dinner, our All-Out Players joined us upstairs for a pint, in an evening lit by MPOWERD’s solar candles and warmed by some truly outstanding company.
Downstairs, players arrived and joined in the fun, filling the Gem as they checked-in and received their team assignments and Legends kits, customized by our friends in Queens, Upper 90, and some gifts from MPOWERD, Thread Wallets, Hu Chocolate, and Legends socks. Our premier core of volunteers from previous events, and some fantastic newcomers from Salesforce got everyone organized and enjoying the night while the pub filled.
As the rain clouds gathered on Saturday morning, we were ever more grateful to call Socceroof home for this event. A quick Lyft ride to Brooklyn, and then the day was on! The men of the Seton Hall Pirates soccer team were out to help us set up, gear up, and ref the day away, as the first whistles blew!
Fourteen teams — Bauru, Chapecó, Cooper’s Block, Les Ulis, Louth, Malleo, Maracanã, Montevideo, Palermo, Rocinha, Saanich, Stormville, Ware, and Zuidoost — made up of players largely meeting for the first time, inspired high competition, with the top four from each pool advancing to the Shield rounds. The Charity Shield draws players of all backgrounds, ages, and experience, but on these small pitches, finesse rivals fitness as the leading indicator for success. Lunch from the Gem’s sister restaurant, the Penny Farthing, was never more popular, and, after six games a piece, our athletes had never been more ready for our Pints and Pops break – thank you to Halo Top Creamery and Guinness, along with Gatorade, Rolling Leaf and tabl’eau, for cooling us off and refueling the day! NYCFC raffled off some highly-sought after jerseys, as our friends at RISE to WIN registered our athletes and attendees to vote, continuing to engage our supporters in their communities.
In the end, Team Cooper’s Block (owned by Marshall Insley) overtook the challenge of Team Chapecó to win the Shield! Congratulations to MVP Marvin Cuj Cuj, who won a walk-on spot in this summer’s 12th annual B/R Football X Steve Nash Foundation Showdown (get your tickets now)! And a big thank you to Marshall, who donated his winnings (the Gem Saloon’s cash pot of $5,000) back to the Steve Nash Foundation to support our work (for those of you keeping track at home, we are 4/4 of Charity Shield owners donating the pot)!
A huge thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers – new and returning – the training crew from Sports Chiropractors of New York that kept our athletes going, all of the players and owners, our sponsors, and our venue hosts, the Gem Saloon and Socceroof – we can’t wait to keep growing this event, and look forward to seeing you in the pub and on the pitch next spring! Check out the photos below, and register to play in L.A. this fall or NYC next spring with us today!