Sod turning for Karina LeBlanc field in Maple Ridge

Sod turning for Karina LeBlanc field in Maple Ridge

Author: BC Games Society/Monday, August 21, 2017/Categories: Front Page, 2017 News, Alumni

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Olympic bronze medalist and BC Games alumni Karina LeBlanc was in Maple Ridge for a ground breaking ceremony to officially open construction on a new all weather field that will bear her name.

LeBlanc was originally surprised with the news that the field will be named after her when she was taking part in the announcement that Maple Ridge will host the 2020 BC Summer Games back in March.

Now, the next generation of athletes will have a chance to play on Karina LeBlanc Field at the 2020 BC Summer Games and be inspired to follow in the famous footsteps of an athlete who took disappointment and turned it into dreams.

 

Article from Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News
by Phil Nychuk

She said it herself, the new all-weather sports field at Merkley Park is the stuff you only dream of.


“This field is my field of dreams,” Karina LeBlanc said Monday during the sod-turning for the new all-weather field named in her honour and to be completed this fall.

“This is incredible for me. I was this young girl who moved to Canada. My parents took a chance, a leap of faith and brought us to this country for opportunity and help.”

Leblanc said when she was young, she didn’t fit in and was bullied, then she developed a dream.

“I decided to have this crazy, big dream, that I wanted to be an Olympian.”

Sport changed her life.  “You gave me a ball and my life changed. I had confidence. I had belief. I wanted to do all these big things.”


She kept progressing in soccer, but it didn’t go too well when she tried to make her first B.C. team. She was cut.

She went back to the field in Merkley Park and kept practising, adding 15 minutes to her training day, then made a team that was above her age group the next time she tried out.

“My dreams were taken from me and this field made my dreams happen.”

LeBlanc went on to make the national women’s soccer team, winning a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London.

The team wanted to win a medal to inspire others, LeBlanc she added.

“You guys made me” she told the crowd of old friends, coaches, teachers and youth at the sod turning.

“It’s pretty cool to walk up and see your name,” on a field.

Read the full article here...

Photo courtesy of Black Press.

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