In 2012, London will host Canada's Olympic qualifying women's soccer team. What a great triumph for these women and for women's soccer as a whole. Delta should be proud of the historic role it played in helping to develop this sport, which has now achieved great international success.
Delta is the birthplace of girls' soccer in British Columbia. Twenty-nine years ago, a group of dedicated individuals, led by Francis Raderecht, determined that it was time that girls were provided with the same opportunity to play this beautiful game.
In 1973, the founding group of individuals/coaches placed an ad in a local elementary school to see if there was enough interest to build a team. So many girls wanted to play that two teams were immediately created, the Ladner Beatty Babes and the Ladner Royals. Other teams, with assistance from these founding individuals, quickly followed. A league and the Ladner Girls Soccer club were subsequently created. The rest, as they say, is history.
Girls/women's soccer is now one of the most popular sports in Delta and throughout Canada with girls playing from age five, and women continuing to play past the age of 50, simply for the love and enjoyment of the sport.
It is unfortunate, however, that these pioneers of girls soccer have gone unrecognized by the Delta Sports Hall of Fame. As noted in the Optimist's May 30, 2009 article by Mark Booth, these founders and girls had to overcome many obstacles, including gender bias, simply to play the beloved game that had been enjoyed by the boys for many years.
These individuals persevered through the obstacles and this helped to develop the extra-ordinarily successful soccer programs Delta experiences today.
I urge the Delta Sports Hall of Fame to recognize the founding individuals responsible for bringing girls' soccer to Delta and British Columbia.