This past weekend, 24 young women from various youth clubs took to the field at Chapple’s Park to demonstrate their skills in the inaugural Queen’s University player identification camp in Thunder Bay.

Under the watchful eyes of coach Marco Giacomello, staff coach Cameron Pytyck, Purdue’s Hannah Melchiorre, Oakland University’s Evan Sawula and Thunder Bay Chill head coach Giovanni Petraglia, the players were introduced to what life is like as a student athlete, including academic balance, time management and nutrition.

The coaches were more than excited to see the skill level on display and believe that this weekend was just the start of many more female identification camp opportunities to come.

As someone who has always tried to promote the women’s game, these events are huge in the continued growth of the female game.

With the Women’s World Cup being viewed by record audiences and more TV deals in the works, it can only be a positive reinforcement for the up and coming young girls looking to further their careers at club, college and pro levels.

Congratulations to the U.S. ladies for claiming their fourth World Cup crown and they are still the benchmark for other countries to obtain.

However, many have stated that the gap is closing, especially with the growth in Europe, with sides such as Holland, France, Sweden and England improving.

The standards of domestic leagues continue to improve, while additional funds and sponsorship deals are paving new paths.

See the full column in the print and digital editions of The Chronicle-Journal

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