Canada Soccer

Allstate High Performance Soccer Clinics wrap up: youth given opportunity to be inspired by their idols

Posted on 21 October 2016 in Sponsors & Partnerships

Canada Soccer Women’s National Team Olympic bronze medalists, including Captain Christine Sinclair, veteran Rhian Wilkinson, and recently retired goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc thrilled youth soccer players in three Canadian cities recently as part of Allstate Canadas’s High Performance Soccer Clinics.

The three clinics, which offered free performance skills training to 200 local players ages 11-16 in Halifax, NS, London, ON and Calgary, AB, gave Canada’s young developing stars the opportunity to interact and learn from their Olympic heroes, while being inspired by the energy and dedication of Canada Soccer’s brightest stars, as well as local coaches.

“I think it’s important to get out and interact with the kids across Canada,” said Sinclair at the Calgary clinic. “The women’s game is growing and I think it’s important to come out and share your medal, share your stories and experiences.”

Sinclair, who scored the winning goal in her 250th appearance for Canada in the bronze medal match at the Rio 2016 Olympics, first appeared for the Canada Soccer Women’s National team at only 15 years of age.

“For me, it’s realising that I was once that little kid at Lenarduzzi’s soccer camp dreaming of representing Canada, so hopefully we can inspire some of these kids here at Allstate’s clinics,” Sinclair said. “Once you see an Olympic medal and kids realise they can achieve this, that fellow Canadians have done it, hopefully they will be inspired to pursue their dream of playing soccer for Canada.”

Allstate, a proud Canada Soccer partner, has a long history of involvement and support in the communities where they do business, and the Canada Soccer partnership is helping them give back to Canadian kids and families.

“Not only do we support soccer at the national level, but we support soccer at the youth level as well though initiatives like this,” said Sheila Whitmore, Allstate Canada Sarcee West Agency Manager. “This event is important to Allstate; we get a few player appearances per year and instead of using them for corporate events, we decided to give back to the communities we serve.
For veteran full-back Rhian Wilkinson, who has been playing with Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team since 2003 and considers the team her best friends and family, inspiring kids in this age group is what drives her.

“The best part, it’s probably the team,” she told the young players in London, ON.

When she asked: “You guys have some of your best friends on you team? “

A chorus of nods from the young boys and girls at the Allstate High Performance Clinic reaffirmed Wilkinson’s belief that soccer is really a community.

“That’s what makes it special,” she said.

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