On June 10, 2019, I stood on a stage in a room in Langley Events Center wearing a white t-shirt and striped navy blue shorts. I was 13 years old at the time, and still unsure of my chances of attaining my football dreams. My fingers closed around the trophy, and I shook hands with the woman who selected me. I’d just received the Technical Department LUSA All Star 11 Female Team award. All Star 11. That meant out of my age group, I was one of the top 11 players of the year. A starter. A star. I couldn’t quite believe it.

It was my first trophy, a sign and checkpoint of how far I’d come. At that time I’d only started to commit myself to my dream of playing professionally. I remember my goals being mere ideas rather than plans with clear steps. I had big hopes for my life but I’d never really imagined what it would feel like, taste like, sound like, to achieve them.

Standing on that stage, I was overwhelmed with pride and certainty. With the right mindset and determination, along with strong values and a good heart, I could accomplish anything – this I knew. In that moment, the dreams that had once felt so far and out of reach, became intangibly closer. The smallest, faintest idea of what I could become, crossed my mind. For that reason, I hold onto this memory. That young girl who can dream is the fuel to my fire.

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