Andrew Liu, Clinical Manager, Pharmacy and Grace Ho, Pharmacist pictured with a soccer ball outside the Michael Garron Hospital Emergency Department
Andrew Liu, Clinical Manager, Pharmacy and Grace Ho, Pharmacist

Hitting the pitch to Kick the Stigma

Andrew Liu and Grace Ho are lacing up their cleats in pursuit of soccer glory at the first annual Michael Garron Hospital Cup: Kick the Stigma.

Andrew Liu, Clinical Manager, Pharmacy and Grace Ho, Pharmacist, may not be soccer pros, but they’re also not afraid of a challenge.

So they’ve recruited a team of co-workers, clinical partners and friends to lace up their cleats and join them in pursuit of soccer glory at the 2018 Michael Garron Hospital Cup: Kick the Stigma.

Kick the Stigma, a day-long soccer tournament and community festival in support of new mental health facilities at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) will be held on Saturday, September 22 at Monarch Park.

“Mental health is a top of mind issue for our organization, our patients and our staff.”

Andrew explains the motivation behind entering a team into the tournament. “It’s for a good cause—mental health is a top of mind issue for our organization, our patients and our staff. And it’s a great activity to help us maintain work/life balance,” he says. “We’ve had a busy few months in terms of clinical work, and we hope this event will help in terms of personal resilience and building team engagement.”

Although the Pharmacy team is still in the recruiting stages and a training plan “would probably be a good idea”, they’re already hard at work to meet the $3,000 team minimum fundraising goal. The team is currently running a department fundraising World Cup soccer event, and they’re planning a bake sale later in the summer.

Looking for competition and enthusiastic fans 

Andrew and Grace hope other teams from across the hospital will join them in registering a team, and they encourage those who aren’t soccer players to come out to the pitch and watch. “It would be great to have an enthusiastic cheering section”, says Grace, “even though our ball-handling skills might not live up to World Cup standards.”

And they’re not intimidated by the thought of facing MGH executives who have registered a team. “Bring it on”, says Andrew.

The fun will continue with a community festival running all day and into the evening, featuring live music, games, a beer garden, and an eclectic mix of street food reflecting the diversity of our East Toronto neighbourhoods.“This tournament isn’t just an opportunity to play some great soccer, it’s really a celebration of our amazing East Toronto community.”“This tournament isn’t just an opportunity to play some great soccer, it’s really a celebration of our amazing East Toronto community”, says Lindsay Hunt, Events Officer at MGH. “We’re inviting everyone to sign up a team, have fun at our community festival and help us kick the stigma associated with mental health.”

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Lindsay Hunt
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