CHESTERMERE – Competing at the Alberta Summer games for 8 Chestermere girls was more than just playing soccer and trying to win each game. Sure, ultimately that is the goal but often there’s a windfall you didn’t see coming. It sounds like these kids won so much more than just a soccer game or two; they won the hearts of acquaintances of their teammates that will last a lifetime. Their team manager, Tanya Gaskell, wrote the article below and it speaks well of their awesome experience and an award that may mean more to them than a medal.
Tanya wrote: In the years to come it’s not the soccer that they will remember. Undoubtedly each and every athlete improved every single game and that will stay with each of them, but it’s not what they will remember the most; though they played well, finishing 6th overall. They will remember that each athlete made 17 new friends. They will remember all of the silly stories about each other. They will remember picking each other up when they were down, tears, and laughter. They will remember that on this weekend they were all super stars and no one person carried the team alone. They will remember, as our goalie put it, “We played like winners.” They will remember that they were scared and nervous to start and after four days they cried to see each other go their separate ways. In over a dozen practices, nothing brought them all together like their shared experiences on the bus, in athlete’s village, preparing for games, at the food center, at the opening ceremonies, at the athlete’s party, and on the all too short bus ride home. Every player wanted just a little more time together. Every player has made 17 friends for life. A classy group of young ladies, that as the manager, I believe played a huge part in Zone 2 winning the Spirit of the Games Award. As the coach Pat Loria, father to three young boys, put it to the girls after the last game, “Coaching this team has made me wish I had a daughter too.”
** In a previous article in The Anchor there were also 5 boys from Chestermere on the U-13 Soccer Team – they took home a Bronze medal from the games.