VANCOUVER ISLAND — It has been an exciting week for Vancouver Island with the opening of Pacific Football Club’s store and the announcement of Pacific FC’s first-ever signing, Canadian youth international Kadin Chung. The local fullback was born in New Westminster and grew up plying his trade on Canada’s west coast.
The coastal culture is a unique one that the Chungs know well. Kadin’s father, Arthur, immigrated from the Philippines to Burnaby, while his mother, Rhonda, grew up on Prince Edward Island, where she was a competitive swimmer.
“She’s always been close to the water. So raising us has always included the love of the water, and being around the coast is what has shaped us,” Chung said.
Chung is the eldest of three brothers; Logan and Evan play soccer for the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy and Coquitlam Metro-Ford. Growing up in Coquitlam, Chung credits his family for playing a massive role in his soccer development.
“They were a huge factor. My dad just told me a story the other day. I used to come down at around 6 a.m. in the morning when I was four- or five years old, sit in front of the tv and watch the English Premier League,” commented Chung. “They were telling me that I would wake them up, so they saw how much I was into soccer, so they put me into soccer.
“They supported me all the way through. It hasn’t been the easiest journey, but they have always been there by my side and they have always brought me up to be very respectful, I owe them a lot.”
Some of Chung’s fondest memories of playing came across the Georgia Strait on the Island.
“I remember one of my first tournaments on the Island. I got really sick and I remember it was during a tournament with Coquitlam Metro-Ford,” said Chung. “I sat most of the games, but there was one where I was feeling OK, so the coach put me in for 5-10 minutes and I scored a goal. That is one of the fondest memories I have because it was a bad moment at the time but looking back at it, it was very memorable.”
Looking ahead, Chung spoke about what it will mean to feature at home when the CPL kicks off in April.
“There’s something about representing home, where you grew up, where most of your family is,” he added. “I feel like I carry a responsibility to do it justice and it’s given me so much that I feel very honoured to give back to it.”
Although the Island isn’t technically New Westminster, Chung feels an instant connection with a community he’s set to represent
“The Island is a beautiful place. The community, just being around the people this week, they are so kind, warm and welcoming,” added Chung. “I think there is nothing like it, there is no replication of the community and the idea of family on the Island. That is very cool.”