On November 9, twenty-two girls aged 7 - 10 from the Bowen Island Football Club (BIFC) had the honour and privilege to escort members of the US and Canadian Women’s soccer team onto the pitch for the singing of both anthems before their game. Thanks to Joseph Cooke, coach of BIFC’s girls U8 team and his initiative to reach out to Canada Soccer, this night was definitely about bringing an element of innocence to the beautiful game and fulfilling the dreams of Bowen Island’s young female soccer players.
At 7pm they walked proudly onto the pitch, each holding a player’s hand. As the game was televised on TSN, TV photo shots started coming in via email and text from friends and family afar by approximately 7:15pm.
“Our girls are FAMOUS!” They said.
At about the same time they were escorted to their seats where their family and friends waited and asked, “Did you meet Christine Sinclair?” The girls settled into their seats briefly, but were quickly up and cheering for Team Canada (and some, quietly, for their new friends with Team USA). Thanks to Bowen Island Community Rec for letting us borrow their stash of Canadian Flags - they were put to good use. Bowen Island had a very loud and proud cheering section of some 50 people with others scattered all around the stadium. TSN got a great shot of Chris Corrigan in the stands.
With a final score of 1-1, the Canadian Women’s Soccer Team played an amazing game in front of a very proud home crowd. And they may not realize it, but they just inspired twenty-young girls who play soccer with a small club on a tiny island, to dream big.