Jordyn Huitema has frequently been the subject of sports coverage in local and national media, and now she’s getting star treatment in Europe.
The 19-year-old Chilliwackian is featured in a full length article by BBC Sport in which she is dubbed Canada’s newest football superstar.
The title fits for the Canadian national teamer, who discusses her soccer aspirations and gives her hometown a direct mention.
“It’s a really small place, so if you knew someone who knew someone, you knew the whole city,” she told BBC Sport reporter Nesta McGregor. “But that was amazing because you get to be so close with everyone, including family and friends.”
Huitema spends much of the article talking about her experiences earning respect as a female player.
She relayed a story of joining a boys’ team at age 10, because a local girls’ team “wasn’t competitive enough.”
“It was unheard of at the time. I remember everyone giving me weird looks when I showed up at training. I’d turn up to matches and I’d hear people say, ‘Why’s there a girl in a jersey?’” Huitema told McGregor. “Even some of my team-mates would have something to say if I started a match or played more minutes than them. There were stares and comments but I kind of just silenced them with my performances.”
Any doubts about Huitema’s soccer ability have long since disappeared as she’s gone on to star with the Canadian national women’s team.
In Europe, she’s better known for her status as a young gun with Paris St-Germain. The young striker helped her France-based professional club reach last year’s Champions League semi-final.
Her four-year contract is proof that a woman from a small town can succeed on the international stage. She hopes young players in Chilliwack and elsewhere are watching and know that it’s worth the struggle.
“I definitely say we’re nowhere near where we deserve from a respect point,” she told McGregor. “I think there are some women out there who have accomplished some incredible things and it kind of gets swept under the mat because they are female.”
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