July 24, 2017
TORONTO FC, SPECIAL OLYMPICS ONTARIO AND KIA UNVEIL UNIFIED EXCHANGE ROSTER
Toronto FC, Special Olympics Ontario and Kia announced Saturday the 12-player roster that will compete in the Unified Exchange Program at Stade Saputo in Montreal, Quebec on Sunday, August 27. The team will face off against a roster of Special Olympics athletes from the Montreal area, chosen by the Montreal Impact and Special Olympics Quebec.
“Toronto FC is proud to take part in this initiative led by Special Olympics and help spread their message of inclusion,” said Bill Manning, President, Toronto FC. “Through sport, we have an opportunity to give these athletes competitive and positive experiences and increase the accessibility of soccer to encourage healthy, active lifestyles.”
The Unified Exchange Program is the cornerstone of the Special Olympics Unified Sports initiative in partnership with Major League Soccer and ESPN that leverages the power of sport to promote an environment of social inclusion and offers a First Team MLS experience. Unified soccer teams, comprised of players with and without intellectual disabilities, travel from their home city to other MLS markets to compete in exhibition matches with their Special Olympics counterparts. Unified matches are scheduled in conjunction with MLS club matches, providing MLS fans with an opportunity to witness first-hand the talents and abilities of Special Olympics athletes and unified partners. Toronto FC and Montreal Impact are the first Canadian teams to participate in the Unified Exchange Program.
“Special Olympics Canada and its Ontario and Quebec Chapters are thrilled to take part in this incredible opportunity,” said Sharon Bollenbach, CEO, Special Olympics Canada. “Our athletes are excited to take to the field to showcase their abilities and love for the game. We look forward to spreading our message of inclusion and acceptance through the Unified Exchange Program.”
In addition to the Unified Exchange Program in Montreal, Toronto FC and Kia will host Toronto’s roster at BMO Field on Sunday, July 30 during Kia Match Night when Toronto FC takes on New York City FC. The team will also participate in a half-time activation.
“We’re so thrilled to see our partnerships with Special Olympics and Toronto FC come to life in such an exciting, memorable and meaningful way,” said Ted Lancaster, VP & COO, Kia Canada Inc. “In addition to providing funds and transportation in support of their daily programs, Kia is proud to be taking a hands-on role in helping spread their message of acceptance and inclusion in communities across Canada.”
As another element of this partnership, Toronto FC and Kia have teamed up to help raise funds for Special Olympics Canada with a contest for fans to win Toronto FC seats. To celebrate TFC’s most successful season, Kia had eight commemorative “Toronto FC Eastern Conference Champs” seats from BMO Field created and signed by the players from the First Team. For a chance to win the seats, fans are invited to visit specialolympics.ca/wintfcseats between July 24 to October 22 and make a $10 donation to Special Olympics.
As the official automotive partner of Special Olympics Canada, Kia Canada is proud to take on a hands-on role in helping to spread the message of acceptance and inclusion. In addition, Kia provides funds and transportation needs to support the daily and competitive sports programs that serve more than 42,000 children, youth and adults with an intellectual disability in communities across Canada.
2017 SPECIAL OLYMPICS UNIFIED EXCHANGE MATCH ROSTER (TORONTO)
|18||Jason Biersteker||Left Wing Back||5’9″||120||11/25/1999||Schomberg|
|11||Sabrina Scalia A||Forward||5’3″||160||8/4/1995||Toronto|
|2||Julia Visconti||5′||180||3/7/1998||Richmond Hill|
ABOUT TORONTO FC
The first Canadian soccer club to compete in Major League Soccer, Toronto FC began play in 2007. The club is owned and operated by the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and plays its home matches at BMO Field on the Exhibition Place grounds. Toronto FC are six-time winners of the Canadian Championship, were 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League semi-finalists and were the 2016 MLS Eastern Conference Champions. The club works out of the state of the art Kia Training Ground, which is also home to the TFC Academy.
ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS CANADA
Established in 1969, the Canadian chapter of this international movement is dedicated to enriching the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through sport. Operating out of sport clubs in 12 provincial and territorial Chapters, this grassroots movement reaches beyond the sphere of sport to empower individuals, change attitudes and build communities. From two-year-olds to mature adults, more than 42,000 athletes with an intellectual disability are registered in Special Olympics year-round programs across Canada. They are supported by more than 20,000 volunteers, including more than 15,000 trained coaches. For more information, visit www.specialolympics.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@SpecialOCanada).
ABOUT KIA CANADA INC.
Kia Canada Inc. (www.kia.ca – www.facebook.com/kiacanada), a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) which was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality, class leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte, Optima and Sorento through a network of 189 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 154 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and four regional offices across Canada, including a state-of-the-art facility in Montreal. Kia’s brand slogan “The Power to Surprise” represents the company’s global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting & inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.