Pitch for Peace: Local football tournament to bring diverse cultures together in friendly competition
Football fans will enjoy this upcoming event in Harrisburg.
The first-ever Central PA Unity Cup, scheduled for May 12-21, will unite teams from diverse cultures around their love for the game.
“Football can bridge so many demographics,” said event organizer Camp Hill native Sarah Vogelsong.
Years ago, Vogelsong, a lifelong soccer player, saw Philadelphia host a Unity Cup that brought together local players from countries around the world. She was then inspired to replicate that in Harrisburg. Now, the Central AP Unity Cup will be the third in the nation, after Philly and Boston.
The recreational tournament will feature nine teams representing countries around the world. Bhutan will serve as the host country, as the Central PA has a large Bhutanese community.
Other players come from places like Italy, Peru, Ecuador, Bosnia, Nigeria and the United States. All players currently live in the central PA area.
“I’m thrilled with the diversity of players we’re going to see,” Vogelsong said.
The opening night of the tournament will take place on May 12 at the HACC athletics ground at 6 p.m. when Team Bhutan takes on Team Italy. The championship game, where the final two teams will face off, will take place on May 21 at 11 a.m. at the City Island Skyline Sports Complex.
All games are free and open to the public.
Alongside the championship game, Dauphin County will host a “Spring Neighboring Festival,” also at the City Island field, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will include entertainment, children’s activities, food trucks and community resources.
Vogelsong hopes to make the Unity Cup an annual event and eventually create separate men’s and women’s teams.
Event sponsors include Dauphin County Commissioners, Capital Blue Cross, Fidelity Direct Mortgage, Mid Penn Bank, Pizza Boy Brewing Company and Café Fresco.
“Sport is a way to connect,” Vogelsong said. “We think football will really unite the city.”
For more information on the Central PA Unity Cup and for a full tournament schedule, visit their website or Facebook page.
If you like what we do, support our work. Become a friend of TheBurg!