Olympic bronze medalist Sophie Schmidt has been named the ambassador for female soccer by Magnuson Ford Mariners FC

Mariners launch Sisters in Soccer initiative

Magnuson Ford Mariners FC is starting an innovative new program to foster a love for the game of soccer in female athletes.

Magnuson Ford Mariners FC is launching an innovative new program to foster a love for the game of soccer in female athletes.

The initiative is known as Sisters in Soccer. It’s a support system to encourage girls to achieve their potential on the field, and then to continue in the sport for a lifetime, be it as players, coaches or officials.

“One of the historical criticisms of the club has been the perceived attention on the male side of the club, to the detriment of the female side,” Mariners technical director Ian Knight said. “That’s something I wanted to correct, and make sure that everyone involved feels they’re a big part of what we do.”

To that end, Sisters in Soccer takes a three-pronged approach. The first component is the “buddy and mentor” phase, which groups all the club’s female teams in pairs – one older, one younger. Players from the older team will help run a training session with the younger team once a month, and the younger players will attend one of the older team’s practices on a monthly basis.

“External links will come from UFV, where we’ll have some of their players come in to mentor our older teams,” Knight noted.

The second component is a website, sistersinsoccer.ca, designed to be a hub for girls soccer in Abbotsford. The distinguishing feature is the “Ask an expert” section, where players can email questions to panelists.

The experts include Sophie Schmidt, a Mariners product who won Olympic bronze with the Canadian national women’s team; Jesse Symons, head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC girls elite program; Jessica Kenny, a physiotherapist at Sport & Spine; and Stephanie Rudnisky, the development co-ordinator with the Canadian Blind Sports Association.

The program’s third component is a series of female-specific events, including summer training camps, tournaments, and clinics for coaches and referees.

At the Sisters in Soccer launch event last week, BC Soccer’s Markus Reinkens said the program was the “first of its kind in B.C.”

“We believe this pilot program is a great example of improving female development initiatives and one that can be a great model for other clubs across the province,” he said.

Just Posted

Fraser Health to buy two private MRI clinics in Surrey, Abbotsford

New clinics will provide 2,000 more MRIs by fiscal year-end

Abbotsford’s Batra disqualified after late attack

Austin Batra loses title after knocking opponent out in 32 seconds

Nominees announced for annual Arty Awards

Event takes place Sept. 29 at The Reach in Abbotsford

Family, friends of Mission murder victim hold protest rally

Group wants convicted murderer Walter Ramsay sent back to a maximum security facility

Abbotsford Olympians back in the pool

Local swim club ready for new season

VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Snowbird RV Show

Highlights from the Abbotsford event

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Fraser River First Nations say they aren’t getting their share of sockeye salmon

Shortage is a result of decisions made by DFO, not a shortage of sockeye, complaint says

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

Province adds another $10 million to incentive fund

Fraser Valley horse trainer suing feed mill after death of five animals

Alicia Harper seeking $500,000 to $1 million in losses and damages from Hi-Pro Feeds

Most Read