I almost jumped out of my chair as Canada scored the winning goal in the dying minutes of the first game of the Women’s World Cup. They had defeated China by a score of 1-0 what a wonderful start to this World competition. Looking back I was amazed to see how far the game of football (soccer) for girls had come? I recall forty years ago when I started the Islands first all girl soccer team. It might never have happened if I’d had sons, but I didn’t, I had two daughters and a strong love of the beautiful game. In 1975 I put together a team of young under twelve girls and we registered with the Canadian Soccer Association, PEI Div. There were no other female teams, so we played in the U12 boys league. Kit was a problem, money was a problem and indeed a struggle to get parents to pay a $3 registration fee for a sport they had never heard of. For our kit I managed to get a dozen white tee shirts with Quaker State Oil logos on them. I worked for a Halifax oil distributor, Hillis Oil, hence we became the “Hillis Oil Stars”. We were given permission to use the Cymbria Elementary school grounds for our home games. We had no goal posts and needed to cut the grass ourselves. For goal posts two trunks from suitable pine trees were planted at each end of the field with a rope tied between them as the cross bar. Cutting the grass was a huge chore, I rounded up a couple of girls with push mowers and we worked hard to get the field prepared for home games. We had no way to mark out the field and relied on the long grass along the edge to indicate when the ball was out of play. Nevertheless, from such meager beginnings girls soccer began to flourish. The following year 1976 we formed a Girls League with five teams. Women’s soccer grew by leaps and bounds through the 1980’s, fields popped up all across the Province, Mini vans became the most popular mode of team transport, with soccer Moms the drivers. Who could have imagined our future in those far off days of forty years ago. Did we ever dream in 2015 this great country of Canada would become host for the Women’s World Cup. What a wonderful legacy for those young girls from South Rustico- Cymbria. The Island’s original all girl soccer’s team. The true pioneers of the beautiful game in Canada.
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