Desiree Scott, the diminutive but talented defensive midfielder for both Team Canada’s women’s soccer team as well as Notts County FC in England, became the most recent Olympic medalist to visit the city when she ventured to Yorkton to run a soccer clinic and be the guest speaker at the Yorkton United soccer banquet on Saturday.
Her visit comes just two weeks after Olympic gold medalist Kaitlyn Lawes, third on Canada’s women’s curling team, made her way to the city.
Scott, 26, has made 71 appearances for Team Canada, including winning a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, before making her first appearance as an instructor for the young boys and girls of Yorkton United; an appearance that Yorkton United President Andy Wyatt said is an honour to have not only at the clinic, but at the banquet as well. “It’s great to see someone who has played at the highest level of women’s soccer come to Yorkton and show us some of her skills, run the clinic and help improve our young players,” said Wyatt. “Then to have her talk about her commitment to soccer and her experiences in this great sport at our banquet is just wonderful.”
Scott did indeed speak at the banquet. She spoke to a crowd of well over 100 about how she grew up playing soccer in Winnipeg before getting the chance to represent Canada; something she has been doing since 2003.
She also mentioned how, as long as someone wants something bad enough, it doesn’t matter how big or small they are, telling everyone in attendance that she was “about five-foot-one” (listed as five-foot-two) and that as long as you work hard “anything is possible”.
While her appearances at both the clinic and banquet was appreciated, why, exactly, is someone the calibre of Scott taking time out of her busy schedule to visit Yorkton and help develop the city’s young soccer stars?
There are two reasons, actually. One is because her sponsor, Porcupine Credit Union, contacted Wyatt and the Yorkton United Soccer Club and asked whether or not they’d like to have Scott come down for a training session.
The other reason, quite simply, is because Scott loves to promote soccer throughout the country and genuinely enjoys coaching young children in the hopes that they will have a successful career, whether it is at the professional, national or recreational level. “Getting involved with the kids is something I love to do so I’m happy that I got some time to put it in my schedule and come out to Yorkton,” mentioned Scott, who is nicknamed ‘The Destroyer’ for her physicality and strength on the soccer pitch. “I enjoy helping the kids improve their skills and luckily I had a break within my National team schedule and had a chance to come out here to Yorkton and do a bit of coaching (for Yorkton United).”
Scott also mentioned that one of her goals is to help soccer overtake hockey as Canada’s number one sport; something she feels has already begun. “The popularity of it is growing, I think more and more kids are playing it and I think it’s great to see that at such a young age that kids are growing up and playing it,” offered the tenacious midfielder. “It’s a fun sport and, unlike hockey, it’s cheap and I think everyone is starting to love the sport and because of that it’s growing in Canada.”
But while Scott is currently living in the hockey crazed country that is Canada, which is only now starting to appreciate her sport of preference, she will soon be off to the soccer mad nation of England for her first season in the FA WSL (Football Association Women’s Super League) with Notts County where she hopes to make a name, not just for herself, but for Canadians both present and future. “England is a soccer nation so I’m pretty excited to be heading over there. It’ll be my first time going overseas to play club soccer so I’m very excited about it,” said Scott, continuing, “I think it’ll allow me to see what else is out there and open up some doors for hopefully some sponsorships as well as other Canadians.”