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Virginia Tech's World Cup soccer tournament celebrates diversity on campus


Two teams play soccer on a field surrounded by flags from various world nations The Virginia Tech World Cup soccer tournament brings together people of differing cultural, regional, and national identities through public engagement in the global sport.

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 5, 2011 – The Virginia Tech men’s soccer program will assist in the sixth annual Virginia Tech World Cup soccer tournament held April 8-9 at the Virginia Tech soccer and lacrosse practice fields across from Lane Stadium on the Blacksburg campus.

The Virginia Tech World Cup executive committee welcomes alumni, undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty from the Virginia Tech community and other universities and colleges throughout Central and Southwest Virginia to participate in the Virginia Tech World Cup. Teams are invited to a banquet at 7 p.m. April 8 at Abella Cafe in Blacksburg, preceding the soccer tournament on April 9. Previous tournaments have included student participation from schools such as Radford University, Virginia Military Institute, and Hollins University.

“This is a good way for our team to give back to our diverse student body,” said Virginia Tech men’s head soccer coach Michael Brizendine. “It’s one of the most unique and fun events that we are involved in all year. This tournament represents, on a small scale, what it is like at a World Cup event. There is a mixing of different cultures, players, and spectators, all coming together under the soccer umbrella for a weekend of socializing, entertaining, and competing. It is a truly unifying experience.”

Teams made up of 13 players can still sign-up online by April 5 or until registration is full. The registration fee is $200 per team.

The World Cup executive committee is committed year-round to increasing interactions between diverse communities. The pre-tournament World Cup Draw functions as a mini-conference, examining the cultural and historical formation of national and regional identities through public and civic engagement in the global sport of soccer.

"Soccer can provide a very real bridge over the cultural, economic, and gender divisions in our world's communities," said Jonathan McCloud of Blacksburg, Va., one of the Virginia Tech World Cup executive committee’s founding members and doctoral candidate in educational psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. "Meaningful learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom. It happens anywhere and anytime there is quality engagement among multiple world-views. This tournament is a direct result of Virginia Tech embracing that ideal.”

The Virginia Tech men’s soccer team will join a campus-wide effort to put on the event, with annual financial and material support from Champs Restaurant and Sports Bar and Foxridge and Hethwood Apartments of Blacksburg, Va. Support from Virginia Tech organizations includes the Council of International Student Organizations, Cranwell International Center, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, Outreach and International Affairs, Campus Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center, and the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech.

For more information on how to sign up, visit the Virginia Tech World Cup website. For questions, contact the Virginia Tech men’s soccer office at (540) 231-0783.

The Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech encompasses departments dedicated to providing a rich co-curricular experience and essential student services. Virtually every aspect of a student's life outside the classroom is represented through the division's departments.

Written by Stephanie Paradiso of Rockville, Md., a senior majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.