KINGS COUNTY - The Gunn Baldursson Memorial Soccer Tournament has a special place in the heart of Valley United coach Dara Ramirez.
“We come to this tournament every year. I have a close connection to this tournament given that I played with Gunn,” said Ramirez, who played varsity soccer with Baldurrson during their years at Acadia University.
Baldursson, a native of Iceland, was in her third year of pre-med studies at Acadia University when she was killed in a motor vehicle accident on November 26, 1987.
“Gunn was an absolutely amazing person, musician, soccer player - human,” said Ramirez, who coaches a tier one U14 team.
Acadia University hosted its 29th annual Gunn Baldursson tournament July 15-17. Click here to view a slideshow of photos from the tournament.
Ramirez’s team secured their place in the championship match by beating a tough Halifax squad in early morning play July 17.
“We’ve had a great weekend,” she said, noting that Valley enlisted the help of some U12 athletes to give the team a bit a depth in the absence of some strong players.
“They’ve done well to give us some quality minutes.”
Ramirez was proud to see the young athletes playing with integrity at the tournament launched in memory of her former teammate.
“It takes skills to get to the championships, but it takes character to win,” she said.
“It’s about who has the biggest heart and the greater will and desire to compete.”
Centre defender Emily Rutt was pleased to see the team measuring up to their stiff competition.
“We’ve pulled through,” the Sheffield Mills resident said.
A longtime soccer player, Rutt looks forward to getting lots of field time at the Gunn.
“I grew up playing soccer and I just love it.”