By Natalie Wise, Vikes Communications
Designed to promote the involvement of women in soccer at all levels and in all stages of the game, the four pillars of the grassroots campaign include SheCoaches, SheReferees, SheLeads, and SheIsCommunity.
The Lower Island Soccer Association and the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport have partnered with the Vikes to initiate SheCoaches. Essentially, identifying and developing more female coaches in the lower island district while offering Active Start and Fundamentals coaching courses free of charge.
In a bid to engage female officials, SheReferees provides support and mentorship for women on the other side of the whistle and includes a presentation and on-field practical, Nov. 10, by Marie-Josée Charbonneau and Carol Anne Chenard, two world-class, Olympic-level referees.
Partnering with “Shooting for Hope” founder Ish Jhaj, SheLeads promotes taking initiative, affecting change and making a difference in the community. In 2011 Jhaj travelled to India and led a four-week soccer camp for 25 girls aged 10-16, giving them the opportunity to build self-esteem, set goals and enrich their lives through sport. From Nov. 6-7 Jhaj will speak to students of St. Michael’s University School as well as to UVic students on the importance of female involvement in sport and using sport to make a positive impact in the community. Additionally, Jhaj will be the 2012 CIS Women’s Soccer Championship’s keynote speaker at the tournament banquet held Wednesday night.
Leading up to the tournament, the activation of SheIsCommunity involved sending members of the Vikes women’s soccer team and a Thrifty Foods dietician to local schools to speak about their sporting experiences and the important role that a well-balanced diet plays in their success. To date, Vikes have had the chance to speak to and impact over 500 students at eight different local schools.
For additional information on the SheKicks campaign please visit www.govikesgo.com/shekicks.
The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team play their first match of the 2012 CIS Women’s Soccer Championships Nov. 8 at 7:00 p.m. under the lights of Centennial Stadium! For ticket information please visit www.govikesgo.com/CISWSOC.