It is with pride and enthusiasm that on Saturday, the Board of the Quebec Soccer Federation launched the 2015 Year of Women’s Soccer at the Montreal Universal Hotel. In the next few weeks and months, through an assortment of activities, the pioneers of women’s soccer, the builders and the whole of women’s soccer will be honored in the province.
“With FIFA’s Women’s World Cup taking place in Canada this summer, great attention will be paid to the promotion of women’s soccer in the Federation’s strategic plans.It is important for us to take part at the regional and provincial levels,” says Patrick Esparbès, Director general of the Fédération de Soccer du Québec.”
“There will be a series of events which can be used to stimulate and reinforce the development of women’s soccer across the province. Already close to 40% of the federation’s members are young women and girls,” he explains. The year of Women’s Soccer honours all of them and those who wish to support them.This is an initiative which is designed to recruit, inform and to give exposure. We want to draw attention to our pioneers in the sport and to let people know that we have good athletes here in Quebec.”
In preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Rhian Wilkinson from Baie d’Urfe, applauds the launching of this initiative.”It’s very important to encourage the development of soccer and sport for women. When I was young and growing up on Montreal’s West Island, I just took it for granted that girls played soccer and that there were opportunities for development.I found out how lucky we are in Quebec when my family took a sabbatical year in Wales. We were pleased to return to Quebec where my sister and I had every chance to play sports, and meet our sporting goals,” explained Wilkinson, who is the most capped Quebec women’s soccer player with 157 caps (selection to the National Women’s Senior Soccer team.).
“I am privileged to live in Quebec and to be involved in soccer and women’s sports. In this Province, we encourage women to play to the best of their abilities and we must preserve this before anything else. We are in good shape in Quebec, but the cause is not yet finished. We can develop even further,” insists Wilkinson. “The 2015 Year of Women’s Soccer is a wonderful opportunity to teach young women about healthy living and women’s soccer can become Canada’s leader in promoting healthy lifestyles for girls. But, in addition, Quebec can lead the country in developing high performance athletes. We have the infrastructure, the university and medical science support, les ecoles sportives and the coaches. Quebec is ready to become one of the most advanced high performance centres in the world, both for women’s soccer and for other sports.”
There will be a multitude of activities organised by the Provincial federation, the regions and the clubs in this 2015 Year of Women’ soccer. The events will be seen in November at the Gala de la Mi-temps. “A big thank you to all the regions who have contributed to the success of the 2015 Year of Women’s soccer so far.” We are working together to leave a legacy in the communities. Every aspect of women’s scocer will be affected, and we will all benefit,”concludes Patrick Esparbès.