National soccer team player Straith never forgets his Bays United roots

Dig into the background of any high-level athlete and you will hit roots quite quickly.

Canadian national soccer team defender/midfielder Adam Straith is honouring his in a unique fashion.

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The Bays United product sponsored a raffle draw held Tuesday at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre with the winner — Quinton Nicoll of U-12 — winning three tickets to the Canada versus Honduras CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match Nov. 13 at B.C. Place Stadium. Also part of the draw, which was open to all Bays United players, is hotel accommodation in Vancouver, a signed Canada jersey and a meeting with Straith following the important fixture which opens the fourth round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying for Russia 2018.

“Adam started out in Bays United exactly like you . . . at age five,” said mom Delphine Straith, addressing the young Bays players who had gathered for the draw.

“He was very determined. If there was anything extra offered, he would do it.”

Fittingly, the slip was drawn by Delphine Straith from the bowl of the Bays United’s Defenders Cup, awarded annually to the association’s top defensive player or players. Ironically, Adam Straith’s name does not appear on the Cup, which should give hope to every late bloomer in the association.

“Having role models such as Adam are massive incentives to these young players,” said Eddie Mukahanana, technical director of Bays United.

Adam Straith, who plays professionally in the Norwegian Premiership, has sent all 30 of his “caps” won with Canada to mom Delphine. They are no longer caps that are awarded now, she explained, but medallions bearing the date and place of the game and name of the national-team opponent. Adam has also sent his mom all the Canada jerseys he has worn except the ones he traded on-field for the other team’s jersey.

“I’m the mother,” she beamed.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

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