Spot the Ball, a popular British contest, has been adapted for Bowen Island by James Milligan, a student at Island Pacific School. An avid soccer player from childhood, Milligan has chosen the topic of soccer for his grade 9 masterworks program. He has researched the many ways soccer can make a difference in people's lives. By looking at charity events, he came across Spot the Ball and set out to use the concept as a fundraiser to bring soccer to underprivileged children.
With the help of his masterworks advisors Morgan Quarry, Phil Carlington and Ted Spear, Milligan has modified the idea. He explained, "We submit a picture of a soccer game to the Undercurrent but the ball will be photo-shopped out. People buy the paper, cut out the picture and mark the spot where they think the ball should be." He said that the x that marks the spot should be drawn with a fine-point pen felt pens will be disqualified.
This week, contestants can enter for free and win a gift certificate worth $50 for the Ruddy Potato. After that, participation will cost a dollar for a guess or a toonie for three guesses. Milligan said, "Then you take the photos and the money to the red and white drop boxes at the recreation office, the Snug, the General Store, The Office at Artisan Square or the Undercurrent with your name, age and phone number on the envelope. Deadline to enter is Tuesdays at 4 p.m." After that, the photo will be evaluated by a panel of three expert judges (numbers will be assigned to the photos so that the judges don't see the names) and, whoever has hit the right spot, will be awarded a prize, says Milligan. No more than three guesses should be marked on one photo but people can submit as many pictures as they like. The judges' decision is final and the winner will be announced in the next Undercurrent edition.
Milligan has secured a number of prizes from the Bowen Island Football Club and local businesses. For more ideas or donations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The money we collect will support athletic endeavors for underprivileged kids," Milligan said. "I want to buy soccer balls and send them into areas where kids might not have access to them." He added that soccer is a great sport as it requires very little in terms of equipment.
Milligan said that soccer definitely has had an impact on his own life. "I love team sports and have played soccer since I was little. Right now, I play four days a week, five if I can. I'm not sure what I would do with my time if I didn't have soccer," he said. "It's great to have a team. Even if you don't know the people that well, you always have something to talk about because you have soccer in common."
Milligan thinks that team sports foster a sense of belonging and that is something that he wants to share with the world.