BY JOHN DECOSTE
Kings County Advertiser/Register
It’s the time of year when women’s soccer teams gather in and around Wolfville, play the game and keep alive the memory of an exceptional young women.
Even almost 23 years after Gunn Baldursson’s death Nov. 26, 1987, the memorial tournament that bears her name remains one of the largest of its kind in Eastern Canada.
This year’s edition of the Gunn Baldursson Memorial Women’s Soccer Tournament is the 23rd since the event was first held in 1988. More than 150 teams – not nearly a record registration, but still impressive – in 12 different divisions will play on 21 different fields in Wolfville, New Minas, Kentville, Greenwich, Centreville and Somerset. Unfortunately, the Dyke Fields in Wolfville will only be available Friday evening – and Raymond Field not at all – due to the Football Canada Cup which begins July 11 in Wolfville, but other fields are being used, including a second Oakdene field in Kentville which is now open.
The reputation of “the Gunn” is such it normally attracts teams from out-of-province - this year is no exception. The field includes teams from Moncton, Fredericton, the Chaleur region of New Brunswick, Corner Brook, NL and Toronto; as well as the usual complement from HRM, other parts of Nova Scotia and here in the Valley.
There are two special events surrounding this year’s tournament. This year, the Gunn will be featured on CBC television’s Soccer Day in Canada. CBC Nova Scotia’s Colleen Jones and a satellite crew will be at Lockhart and Ryan Park in New Minas July 10 to shoot footage for broadcast across Canada that evening between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. All fans and, especially, tournament participants are reminded at 11 a.m. that morning, an opening shot for the CBC broadcast will be shot at Lockhart and Ryan Park. Tournament organizers are looking for as many soccer players and fans as possible to stand behind Jones “and show the rest of Canada how much Nova Scotia and the Valley loves soccer.”
In conjunction with the CBC event, the 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. time slot will also include a guest appearance by Canadian national men’s soccer team head coach Stephen Hart, who began his coaching career here in Nova Scotia.