The redeeming and hard-fought bronze-medal win for the Canadian Olympic women’s soccer team was the talk of Red Deer on Thursday.
The women managed to capture the medal with a goal by Diana Matheson late in the game, securing them with the 1-0 win against France on Thursday morning.
The bronze-medal win was the first for Canada in a summer team sport since 1936, putting women’s soccer at the forefront of Canadian minds.
“Everywhere you go today people are talking about it,” Red Deer City Soccer Association and Red Deer Renegades Soccer Club technical director Admir Ado Sarcevic said on Thursday.
“It is amazing how many people who are talking about the game, some who have never talked about it before. It’s huge for soccer and especially women’s soccer,” he said.
The Red Deer City Soccer Association was hosting a summer soccer camp for kids on Thursday and instructor Kayla Keenan, 22, who also plays for Red Deer College and in the Alberta Major Soccer League, was beaming about the win.
“It was a little devastating obviously watching the loss against the U.S. but it was nice that the girls fought through being so disappointed and coming out with a win and a medal,” she said.
“I am sure they were emotionally drained and exhausted physically so to keep pushing and score a goal, that is incredible.”
Canada’s captain Christine Sinclair, now a household name, is not only a role model for herself but for the children she teaches, Keenan said.
“We have girls in the camp and she (Sinclair) is such a positive role model, I think this is going to be great for years to come.”
Sydnie Bray, 10, has been playing soccer for two years.
She said she was surprised at the win because France was a tough team to beat. Hearing that the Canadian women’s soccer team persevered taught her to play hard and try her best, she said.
Ado Sarcevic played professional soccer in the former Yugoslavia 18 years ago.
He hopes recent soccer hype boosts interest in the sport around Central Alberta.
“This is a hockey country but possibilities are out there, so with the right work, the right attitude and support, I think that they (female soccer players) can accomplish a lot.”
There will be more to pay attention to when Canada hosts the women’s World Cup in 2015.
The Red Deer City Soccer Association is currently taking registrations for the indoor soccer season. Visit www.rdcsa.com or www.renegadessc.com for more information.