With just over three months before kick-off at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014, volunteers are getting ready to put their mark on the prestigious international competition. For the parents of one teenager, volunteering for such a tournament means they get a taste of the experience their daughter may soon enjoy.
Jean-Pierre Proulx and Dominique Lafrance’s daughter is Lysianne Proulx, a 14-year old goalkeeper in the Canadian national youth program who recently represented her country at the recent FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2014. Both parents were in Costa Rica to cheer for their daughter, but that was after they served as volunteers at the Official Draw for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014 in Montréal on 1 March.
“I didn’t know much about football before Lysianne began playing,” said Jean-Pierre. “We soon became passionate supporters of the sport and have become more and more involved as Lysianne grew as a player. It’s been her dream to play for Canada since she was seven. For us, it’s about meeting people who are as passionate about game and supporting Lysianne in her journey.”
Jean-Pierre and Dominique have taken their daughter's passion for the game and made it a family affair. The family has become season ticket holders for Impact Montréal of Major League Soccer and traveled abroad for matches. They also helped built the Montréal Soccer Expo, a soccer conference which features more than 85 exhibitors and activities for fans of all ages.
Later this year, both parents will be serving as volunteers at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014, welcoming countries from around the world for the 16-nation tournament that runs 5-24 August.
“We want to give back to football because football has given our family so much,” said the elder Proulx. “We were in Costa Rica and witnessed the size of the competition and the incredible excitement. The experience opened our eyes to what is coming in August and what is coming next year for the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015."
For this one family, volunteering is all part of the football journey, a journey they hope leads their daughter to bigger and better things in the future.