Star sprinter De Grasse invests in AFC Toronto Metropolis ladies’s soccer staff

Star sprinter Andre De Grasse has purchased into AFC Toronto Metropolis, the native entry within the proposed Canadian ladies’s skilled soccer league.

The eight-team league, the brainchild of former Canadian worldwide Diana Matheson, is scheduled to launch in 2025.

“I used to be extra excited about it from a grassroots group facet,” De Grasse, who performed youth soccer with the Scarborough Azzurri-Blues, stated in a cellphone interview. “Simply making an attempt to be part of one thing that is fairly cool.

“Bringing a ladies’s soccer league and having a franchise in Toronto is a reasonably cool factor to have and I simply hope that I can play a giant half in it. Hopefully it could possibly blow up into one thing huge and go someplace as a result of clearly I am a giant fan of girls’s soccer.”

The wheels had been in movement between De Grasse’s illustration and Matheson for an funding because the league was launched in December 2022, ready for administration for a Toronto staff to return collectively. AFC Toronto Metropolis was introduced in April 2023.

The Markham, Ont., native was hosted by traders and the league, Challenge 8, at Canada’s ladies’s Sept. 26 Olympic qualifier recreation in opposition to Jamaica the place they requested of his curiosity in being “on board.”

A spokesman for De Grasse declined to element the quantity of his funding.

The franchise price for the brand new league is $1 million with a necessity for an estimated $8 million to $10 million in complete invested capital over the primary 5 seasons along with obligatory spending on infrastructure. Homeowners are shopping for a bit of the league in addition to their very own franchise.

WATCH | Matheson discusses Toronto franchise with CBC Sports activities:

Canadian skilled ladies’s soccer league publicizes Toronto as third franchise

Diana Matheson, the CEO of Challenge 8, shares her pleasure a few skilled ladies’s soccer staff coming to Toronto. Vancouver and Calgary have been beforehand introduced as staff places.

The AFC Toronto Metropolis possession is an entrepreneurial group with roots within the North Toronto Soccer Membership though that group will not be affiliated to the brand new staff. It’s led by CEO Helena Ruken, COO Brenda Ha and chief advertising officer Jill Burgin.

The opposite three co-owners are Mike Ruthard, Billy Wilson and Shamez Mangalji, who even have ties to North Toronto Soccer Membership. Ruthard and Mangalji have expertise within the monetary sector whereas Wilson is North Toronto’s government and technical director.

Ruthard can be Toronto Metropolis’s chief monetary officer whereas Mangalji takes care of gross sales and fundraising and Wilson serves as a technical adviser.

Challenge 8, based by Matheson and Thomas Gilbert, already has official league recognition from Canada Soccer.

“We’re thrilled to listen to that Andre can be investing in Toronto’s ladies’s skilled staff,” Matheson stated. “Andre is becoming a member of an funding group in Toronto that, like he does, understands the unimaginable impression that sport has on people and communities, in addition to the numerous development potential of girls’s skilled sport in Canada.”

Matheson’s stoppage-time aim earned Canada a bronze medal on the 2012 London Olympics. She received 206 caps for Canada (together with 193 begins) from 2003 to 2020.

Different groups already confirmed for the ladies’s league are the Vancouver Whitecaps and Calgary foothills.

The 29-year-old De Grasse, a six-time Olympic medallist, is not any stranger to backing startup ventures by means of his not too long ago shaped ADG Ignite Ventures.

WATCH | De Grasse joins CBC Sports activities’ Athletics North:

Andre De Grasse headlines Canadian success at Diamond League Last | Athletics North

A season’s-best time as Andre De Grasse turns into the primary Canadian Diamond League Last champion since 2011. That and extra Canadian success from the Last on this episode of Athletics North.

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