BMO brings girls’ soccer coaching clinic to Kingston, Ont.

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BMO brings girls soccer coaching clinic to Kingston, Ont.,
WATCH: Bank of Montreal has brought its fifth annual girls soccer coaching clinic to Kingston, Ont., for the first time, in hopes of growing the women's game – Aug 20, 2023

Some of Kingston, Ont.’s, best and brightest young female soccer players gathered Sunday to take part in a coaching and playing clinic put on by Bank of Montreal (BMO).

For the first time ever, BMO has expanded its “Girls Play On” soccer clinic to Kingston.

The event teaches girls, from 15 to 17 years old, how to coach and after a morning of learning, they got the chance to apply their new skills with groups of younger girls.

“I think it’s really important to start that passion really young because that was me when I was younger. I want to show younger players kind of what it’s like at my age,” said Marra Stanistreet, a participant in the camp.

Though she’s just 15 years old, Stanistreet already has a little bit of experience coaching.

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She said she came to the camp because she wants to be somebody younger players can look up to.

“I would love to be a role model for, like, eight-year-olds, that would be pretty cool. I’m like the youngest in my age, I’m born in December, so I always even looked up to people my own age,” she added.

Part of the battle with building up women’s soccer in Canada is keeping girls engaged in the game past their youth.

Robyn Gmeindl, marketing, partnerships and events manager for Ontario Soccer, said that’s part of the focus of the clinic and why they teach them the coaching aspect of the game.

“A lot of times, we’ve noticed that they start dropping out of sport, so if we can give them something else to do other than play, then the likelihood of them sticking with the game is that much higher,” she said.

Kingston is one of five stops for the clinic this year, which includes Aurora, Vaughan, Niagara Falls and London.

Gmeindl says the enthusiasm they’ve seen from participants this summer has been impressive.

“They’re really, really passionate about sharing their love of the game with the younger generation, and that’s coming across just in such a loud amount. We’re absolutely seeing that that’s what they want,” added Gmeindl.

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Like Christine Sinclair, Diana Matheson and so many more before her, Stanistreet says she’s excited to help grow the game for those behind her.

“I’ve only had one female coach, so I think it would be good for me to, when I’m done playing, maybe move forward with coaching,” said Stanistreet.

It’s a dream that is helped out by clinics like “Girls Play On”.

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