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Jordyn Huitema surprised at her Canadian International Youth Player of the Year award

BC Soccer is excited to share the stories of inspirational British Columbians who are making a difference in the game. 

You could easily make the argument that she is the Poster Girl for soccer in our province and our country; the smile, the passion for the game, the obvious talent, the signature flailing pony tail and the joy she exhibits when scoring.  But Jordyn Huitema has always focused on the process, not the outcome.  She’s also still wrapping her head around the fact that young girls are already putting her poster up in their bedrooms:

“It’s weird to think that younger kids are looking up to me already. I still don’t really believe it when a young girl comes up and says, “I’m your biggest fan”, because I’m still relatively new to the scene and I’m not at the level of others who should be getting way more attention.”

Huitema recognizes the importance of having role models.  She was heavily influenced by Burnaby’s Christine Sinclair, and considers it an honour just to be on the same field with the 14-time Canadian Player of the year;

“Even getting to know her more as a team-mate and getting to know Christine on a personal level…she lives up to everything you imagine as a young kid, and I’m one of those young kids growing up who had her as someone I aspired to be like.”

The Chilliwack native, grew up in an athletic household where brother Brody was  climbing through the development pathway before arriving at Duke, while brother Trent saw success in hockey playing junior for the Humboldt Broncos prior to their horrific tragedy.  Her parents never pushed their kids in any one direction, they let the sport choose their children.

Jordyn admits she only vaguely remembers the early days of trundling around the pitches of “the ‘Wack” hazily recalling an early World Cup micros tournament where she represented Brazil. 

Since then, it’s been a rapid climb through Chilliwack Youth Soccer, on to Surrey United Soccer Club within the BCSPL to BC Soccer’s Provincial Program, Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX Program in partnership with BC Soccer, TSS Rovers and most recently Paris St Germain.  Even at a tender 17, Huitema is fully aware that her current success may not have occurred had she missed any of the steps in BC’s development pathway:

“With every new team and every new step, comes a new opportunity to learn.  With each environment I added something to my bank of skills and without any one piece, the puzzle would have been incomplete. Each coach, each teammate and program changes you and shapes you into a better player than the one that arrived.”

Huitema’s dedication and professionalism have not been lost on BC Soccer’s Director of Soccer Development Chris Ceronni, who has watched the progression first hand; “We are very proud of Jordyn and what she has accomplished in recent years. Jordyn is a role model for all British Columbians that aspire to represent the national team and we are excited to see what she achieves throughout her career at the highest level”.

Like the song that suddenly becomes a smash hit, Huitema’s late inclusion in the memorable friendly between Canada and the USA last November signalled an arrival on the soccer charts.  There was a distinct buzz amongst the 20 thousand plus crowd, as Huitema stood at midfield in BC Place, subbing in late in a fiercely contested match that still hung in the balance.  It was as if the largely British Columbian Crowd was welcoming one of their own onto the big stage. 

“I felt the reaction was for the player coming off!  But yeah, it was weird because I    only came on for 2 minutes and it was really cool how the fans reacted and then afterwards, the media and all the people around were so positive…it was crazy.”

With a World Cup in France just months away, being a regular member of Canada’s senior team is now Huitema’s big aim.

“It’s hard to set expectations with a country like Canada. No spot is guaranteed, and right now it’s about focussing on the process and doing every little thing I can to make that roster, and then from there you keep progressing and keep moving your expectation bar higher. But of course, the goal is to make that roster and see minutes in a World Cup.”


Huitema’s consideration will be given an obvious boost thanks her three goal performance at the recent FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, where Canada achieved a best ever 4th place finish, and Huitema gained valuable international leadership experience rising to the big occasions.  Despite the achievement, the bitter disappointment of the Mexico and New Zealand games will be seared into Huitema’s subconscious, along with the clichés about overcoming heartache:

“You have to feel what that feels like, so you never have to experience it again. We have players on that team that are 15, 16, 17 years old, people who are being opened up to feelings and hurt and pain as strong as they’ve felt after those few games at such a young age which is so amazing for the future because hopefully, they won’t need to go through it again at an older age.”  

For now, the articulate and thoughtful high schooler gets to be a regular 17-year-old while getting some much-needed rest and down time.  Christmas in her family is celebrated “Dutch Style” on the 24th, thanks to her father’s parents.  It wasn’t lost on Jordyn that Canada’s World Cup group included the Netherlands (in addition to Cameroon and New Zealand).

“I’m 100% Canadian when I slip on that jersey.  Off the field, maybe a different story, but no issues of allegiance in my family when Canada plays!”

As for Jordyn Huitema’s Christmas wish list this year;

“I’m not really a person who likes materialistic things. I’m more into making memories and being surrounded by people that I love. It’s not been often that we’ve all been in the same household, so I feel blessed that our whole family can be together for the holidays this year.”

It’s safe to say, Santa will be delivering more Jordyn Huitema posters in the Christmas’s to come.  

 

About BC Soccer

BC Soccer is the provincial sport governing body with the mission to govern, promote and develop the game of soccer in British Columbia in a professional and progressive manner. Established in 1907, BC Soccer is the largest provincial sport organization (PSO) in BC and the third largest soccer specific PSO in Canada with over 150,000 participants.  As a professional not-for-profit society and a member of Canada Soccer, BC Soccer is committed to providing the widest opportunities for existing and potential participants, as well as provide support in the most effective and appropriate way for current players, parents, volunteers, member clubs, leagues and districts.

BC Soccer is comprised of more than 120,000 registered players, over 2,200 registered referees, and thousands of volunteer coaches, administrators and soccer leaders. Working with its 40 member Youth Districts and 11 Adult Leagues as well as their affiliate member clubs, BC Soccer operates under the guiding principles of Professional Leadership, Passionate Service and Progressive Collaboration. In managing its relationships throughout the larger soccer community, BC Soccer’s vision is to ensure every British Columbian has the opportunity to be involved in soccer as part of a lifelong commitment to active, health and involved lifestyle.