It’s not every day youth are told to ‘fail awesomely’, but that’s the message Karina LeBlanc shared with 200 girls at SaskTel Soccer Centre for the FIFA “Live Your Goals” festival.
“When you fail on the soccer field you learn pretty quickly that you have to get over yourself. I think that’s one of the greatest teachings,” LeBlanc, an Olympic bronze medalist for Team Canada, said.
“We learn that you dare to fail greatly because when you fail, beyond that are some of your greatest successes.”
Live Your Goals is a global initiative that aims to inspire girls to achieve their goals in soccer through perseverance, fair play and teamwork. The event is happening in seven cities across Canada.
“I think every single girl on the national team was told at some point they weren’t good enough, but they just dared to dream big and work hard, harder than anyone else,” said the Olympic goalkeeper.
“Believe in yourself. Everbody is different, but be you, do you, own you.”
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Prior to the Saturday afternoon skills camp in Saskatoon, Karina spent the morning with 40 ‘leaders in training’ from the Saskatchewan Regional Excel Program, teaching them how to be leaders on and off the field.
The group included young athletes like Grade 12 soccer player Keelin Kennedy.
“It has definitely given me the opportunity to learn to overcome challenges. It’s taught me to get up after you fail and be even stronger,” Kennedy said.
“You don’t just fall and quit, you never quit. It’s about fighting and getting better every day.”