By Paul Osborne

A football 7-a-side test event will be held at the Pan Am/Parapan Am Fields ahead of the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games ©Toronto 2015International 7-a-side football players will test out the new Pan Am/Parapan Am Fields at the University of Toronto less than a year before the sport returns to the Parapan American Games.

Football 7-a-side was removed from the programme for the 2011 edition in Guadalajara, Mexico but will return in the Canadian city next year, with all the action beginning on August 7.

Athletes will gather at the University of Toronto for the latest America Cup, a test event which will also serve as a qualifier, and as the 2015 World Championships.

The athletes were joined today by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik and Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark who toured the facility as part of an official visit to Canada.

The crown prince is a member of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Sport for All Commission.

"It's exciting to see top athletes competing at yet another finished world-class venue for the Toronto 2015 Games," said Saäd Rafi, Toronto 2015 chief executive, who toured the venue alongside the royal couple.

"Football 7-a-side is growing in popularity, especially among the soccer-mad populations of the Americas, which fields several top international teams.

"We're pleased to host this sport's return to the Parapan Am Games next summer in the heart of downtown Toronto."

The America Cup competition is one of 40 sport test events Toronto 2015 is helping bring to Ontario ahead of the Games.

Earlier this month, the Pan Am/Parapan Am Fields hosted an Ontario University Athletics varsity field hockey league exhibition tournament.

The venue will also play host to football 5-a-side during Toronto 2015.

The Pan Am/Parapan Am Fields will play host to football 7-a-side, football 5-a-side and hockey during Toronto 2015 ©Toronto 2015The Pan Am/Parapan Am Fields will play host to football 7-a-side, football 5-a-side and hockey during Toronto 2015 ©Toronto 2015

The America Cup tournament kicks off today with six teams battling for the crown and spots in both of next year's major competitions.

Action will run until September 26.

Football 7-a-side made its Parapan Am debut in 1984 and is played by athletes with neurological impairments.

Brazil are the regional powerhouses, currently sitting third in the world rankings, while the United States and Argentina also sit among the top 10 in the world.

The multi-purpose Pan Am/Parapan Am Fields feature two international Global Class 1 water-based turf fields — a warm-up pitch and a competition pitch — the standard required by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for all international competitions.

The turf is watered for hockey games to ensure an ideal playing surface by reducing the impact of friction on the movement of the ball.

The $9.5 million ($8.45 million/£5.28 million/€6.67 million) multi-purpose facility was jointly funded by the Government of Canada and the University of Toronto.

"Ontario's first FIH-certified pitches will allow the University of Toronto to host future local and international field hockey competitions," said Bal Gosal, Minister of State for sport.

"In addition, as they are multi-use fields, they will continue to serve the students and other members of the Toronto community for many years to come."

The fields are expected to be the highest quality two-turf facility for hockey in Canada, according to Hockey Canada, and will double the number of these specialised water-based turf fields in the Greater Toronto Area.

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