Skip to content

About Us

The Robbie: The Beginning

As a participant in The Robbie, you can be proud to participate in the world’s largest annual charitable youth soccer tournament. For over 50 years, The Robbie has donated to Cystic Fibrosis Canada to support life-extending research, treatment and education for those living with CF.

In 1967, a group of soccer enthusiasts met in John Wimbs’ Scarborough, Ontario, living room to organize a small soccer festival. From upstairs they heard three-year-old Robbie receiving treatment for cystic fibrosis. In that moment, the organizers decided to dedicate the event not just to soccer, but to fighting cystic fibrosis. The Robbie was born.

Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. There is no cure, yet. Funds donated by The Robbie support cutting-edge research through the Robbie Award for Most Promising Area of New Research.

When Robbie was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in the 1960s, he was not expected to live long enough to attend kindergarten. Much has changed, Canadians with cystic fibrosis are now living longer, healthier lives than ever before, but CF is still ultimately fatal. Last year, half of Canadians who died of cystic fibrosis were under the age of 33. However, fundraising events like The Robbie, make an enormous difference. As of 2017, the estimated median age of survival for Canadians with cystic fibrosis is among the highest in the world, at 52.3 years of age.

Robbie lived with cystic fibrosis until he was 33, he lives on in the festival and tournament he inspired.

    “Dwayne De Rosario, Honorary Robbie Chair, and Mike Ellis, Robbie Chair, present a $50,000 donation to Jeff Beach, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Chief Executive Director Ontario, at BMO Field during Toronto FC game.”

    Photo Credit: Les Jones


    There are many ways you can give to support life-saving research, advocacy and care to help all Canadians with CF live longer and healthier lives.

    WHAT IS cystic fibrosis?

    Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. There is no cure.

    Cystic fibrosis causes various effects on the body, but mainly affects the digestive system and lungs. The degree of cystic fibrosis involvement differs from person to person. However, the persistence and ongoing infection in the lungs, with the destruction of the lungs and loss of lung function, eventually causes death in the majority of people who have cystic fibrosis.

    Typical complications caused by cystic fibrosis are difficulty in digesting fats and proteins; vitamin deficiencies due to loss of pancreatic enzymes; and progressive loss of lung function. More than 4,300 Canadian children, adolescents, and adults with cystic fibrosis attend specialized CF clinics.

    Copyright © 2026 The Robbie International Soccer Tournament & Festival Design Meaghan Bax Marketing