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Catch You On The Rebound: Dwayne Vigilance & Ian Diaz

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When Dwayne Vigilance and Ian Diaz were in high school they weighed 175 pounds and 125 pounds respectively.

Now a bit older, Vigilance 43 and Diaz age 40 at this writing, Vigilance carries 220 pounds on his 5-foot-8 frame and Diaz 155 pounds on a 5-foot-5 frame.

Getting older will do that to you.

Both are hoping to shed a few pounds though come April 2017 when they head to Auckland, New Zealand to play football (soccer) at the 2017 World Masters Games (WMG).

Coaches at Keyano College, with Vigilance heading up the women’s basketball team and Diaz the Huskies’ women’s soccer and futsal programs, they will be competing in the B Grade (Competitive) over-40 men’s age group.

They will be joining locals Paul Kane and Frank Lafontaine along with other players recruited from Alberta and British Columbia.

“A couple of years ago Paul Kane asked me if I wanted to go (2013 WMG) but I was coming off of a knee injury and I wasn’t ready to play,” recalls Vigilance, who played his youth soccer with Kane here in Fort McMurray while both attended Fort McMurray Composite High School. “Then the opportunity came up again a few months ago and I said that I was ready to go.”

Vigilance, who started playing soccer at age five and was a member of the local rep team from age 12 to 19, admits that it has been a while since he last tied up his laces.

“The last time I played serious soccer was probably 2012 as since then I have concentrated my efforts on being a basketball coach,” recalled Vigilance, who from age 15-to-19 was coached in soccer by his father Compton Vigilance.

Vigilance has already dribbled in international soccer though: “ I had played (amateur) in Australia for nearly four years (he was the head coach of the Brisbane Ladies Basketball Club) and it was a quite different style of soccer over there. I was known as a very aggressive player because they are very finesse wise and not as gritty as we are.”

Vigilance has a love for both basketball and soccer.

“To me, I always thought I was more skilled as a soccer player but worked harder as a basketball player as I was undersized and under skilled. Soccer came more natural to me.”

Vigilance said he has been “training and running the last two or three months” but come January 2017, “I will have a better workout plan to follow.”

He continued: “I will have to pick it up a few notches. I will touch the ball more...but it will come back.

“I know I won’t be the same as before but my ego is in check. I am no longer a young buck and I know the limitations. I don’t need to do the flash and dash. I just need to be a good player.

“My goal is to hopefully relive some of my youth and have a great time and meet some great people.”

Diaz will have a travel companion in the presence of his wife Alex Mah-Diaz, who will be competing in the women’s 30-and-over classification.

“Right now she is doing her thing to get ready and I am also preparing,” said Diaz, who has battled various leg injuries over the years. “I’ve been doing physio and I am slowly trying to get my stamina up and lose a few pounds.”

Of the opportunity to represent Canada: “I’ve heard that the (Class A) division has a lot of ex-professionals and even in our division, there will be a few ex-pros. So it will be high-calibre.”

When asked what he knew of New Zealand, Diaz responded: “All I know is Lord of the Rings was filmed there and I heard everyone is into extreme sports. It will be nice to see a new culture and new people and a new side of the world.”

The World Master Games is billed as the world’s largest multi-sport event. At the 2009 WMG in Sydney, Australia there were nearly 29,000 competitors. This year’s event has 28 sports.

Catch you on the rebound.


Photos: Dwayne Vigilance (left) and Ian Diaz (right) are ready for football (soccer) action at the 2017 World Masters Games to be held in New Zealand.


Curtis J. Phillips has been a sports journalist in print/electronic mediums since 1976. A strong advocate of volunteerism, he is a founding father of numerous local events and organizations including the Challenge Cup and Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. Phillips is also recognized internationally as a sports historian.