Keeping her sporting options open
Lainey Harding is a 12-year-old Grade 6 student at École George-McDowell.
“School is going very well,” she says. My favourite classes are art and gym class. I enjoy the relaxed and calm atmosphere and learning how to draw.”
Simply put, Lainey really loves sports.
“I play club volleyball for the Dakota Diggers, I play soccer for Bonivital, and I play hockey for the St. Vital Vics and the Manitoba All-Stars. I would probably say I like hockey the most, then soccer, and then volleyball,” she says.
“I am not sure why I like hockey the most. Maybe it is the movement and the faster pace.”
Lainey plays centre or left wing in hockey.
“I have fun trying to score goals. (It’s) more fun than staying back,” she explains. “Scoring goals is fun. In soccer I normally play right midfield. I like playing midfield because you are playing and contributing in all areas on the field.”
Lainey enjoys being a part of a team in all the sports she plays.
“I really have fun.. I really enjoy playing sports with friends. We have a lot of fun hanging out after our games and practices.”
I asked Lainey if she had an ultimate goal, and her response was that of a well-rounded young athlete.
“I don’t really have an ultimate goal yet. I am not sure which sport I want to keep playing as I get older. Right now, I am really having fun playing and working to improve as an athlete” she says.
Lainey and her dad Dave, mom Tammy, and older brother Nolan live in St. Vital.
“My brother plays soccer and hockey as well, (but) he plays hockey more now,” she says. “He plays for the U15 AAA Bruins. I want to say thank you to my mom and dad for driving me to my sports and cheering me on. My parents are always there for me.”
Lainey’s dad Dave is a big fan of his daughter.
“Lainey is a great ki,” he says. “She is hard on herself to always improve. Sometimes she is almost striving too much for excellence. She is very coachable and is always working to get better with sports and in the classroom.”
Lainey is very well-spoken and has a very bright future. She has this advice for young athletes, a statement that reflects where she is in her journey:
“Always try your best and have fun. Try as many sports as you can when you are young.”
Westwood's Sports Heroes
Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers kicker Troy Westwood writes about Winnipeg’s unsung sports heroes every other week in the Canstar Community News weeklies.