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Volunteers needed for soccer spectacle

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Assuming she retains her form and fitness, Winnipeg native and local soccer legend Desiree Scott should be in line for a place in the national team at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015.

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Assuming she retains her form and fitness, Winnipeg native and local soccer legend Desiree Scott should be in line for a place in the national team at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015. Photo Store

Desiree Scott is not the only Winnipegger who can potentially play a part in one of the world’s biggest soccer tournaments.

Community members now have the chance to kick in some support and be part of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015.

Registrations are now being accepted for volunteers, for Winnipeg is among six host cities slated for the tournament, which will be held between June 6 and July 5, 2015. The other host cities are Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Moncton and Montreal. According to www.fifa.com, Winnipeg will host seven matches in the group stages of the tournament.

Officials say the tournament’s national organizing committee is seeking support from hundreds of volunteers to fill numerous positions both leading up to the competition and during the tournament, noting that volunteers will be an integral part of the success of the tournament, which was last held in Germany in 2011 and won by Japan.  

"As the primary point of contact with fans, volunteers who are friendly, helpful and engaging will have a lasting impression on spectators, media and the general public. Your participation will help ensure successful delivery of the world’s most important sporting event for women. Thank you in advance for your support," notes a news release by the event’s national organizing committee.

The 24-nation tournament will provide another showcase for local soccer fans to watch the national women’s team, which automatically qualifies for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 as hosts.

The team continued to capture the hearts and imaginations of Canadians after a spirited bronze medal showing at the Olympic Games in England last summer, which included a controversial 4-3 extra time defeat to the U.S. at Old
Trafford in light of some disputed refereeing decisions by Norwegian referee Christina Pedersen.

From then to now, a key figure in the national team is Winnipeg’s own Desiree Scott. Assuming she maintains her form and fitness during the next two years, Scott — a West Kildonan native who currently plays for FC Kansas City in National Women’s Soccer League in the U. S. — can expect to remain a key member of the team, after laying claim to the defensive midfield anchor role in recent seasons.

After returning from London last year, Scott told The Lance in August 2012 that she was thrilled about the team’s performance in England and humbled to be a role model for a new generation of soccer players.

"I’m still on Cloud 9. I haven’t stopping smiling yet," said Scott, then 25, who was the assistant coach of the University of Manitoba Bisons women’s soccer team at the time. "I had girls coming up to me saying, ‘We want to be just like you.’ It was unbelievable. I’m still shocked I can call myself an Olympian."

Will Winnipeg’s soccer sweetheart, she was asked, be aiming to play in the world cup when it rolls into Winnipeg?

"I’ll be pushing for that," she said.

To learn more about the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, visit www.fifa.com

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