Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé Image by: Always
Not only will Stephanie Labbé protect the goal for Canada’s soccer team at Rio, but she’s also joined with Always #LikeAGirl to support building girls' confidence through sport.
Growing up is hard, especially because it involves all kinds of new things like B.O., boobs and periods. During puberty, when this metamorphosis occurs, confidence in teen girls often plummets. “There are a lot of changes,” says Stephanie Labbé, Team Canada’s soccer goalkeeper and new ambassador for Always #LikeAGirl. “These changes can affect your confidence and make it harder to put yourself out there and try new things.”
But that doesn’t mean girls should just throw in the towel. Instead, throwing themselves into sports can build self-esteem, “resulting in more successful women in the future,” says Stephanie. So maybe Stephanie’s a little biased, but she’s got three good reasons why girls should participate in sports during childhood and their formative teenage years.
1. They’ll learn to get up when they’re knocked down.
“I think the more mistakes you make and the more disappointments you face in sport, the more you learn that it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down or how many times you lose,” says Stephanie. “It’s all about continuing to try to be better every day. It’s not about winning games; it’s not about being the best. It’s about being the best you that you can be.”
2. They’ll build lifelong friendships.
“My group of friends from soccer—they’re the closest ones to me,” says Stephanie. “I’ve been through the ups and downs with them. They’ve supported me in the hard times and I’ve supported them. You create these bonds that are so special and so unique. And then at the same time you’re sharing all these memories.”
3. They’ll inspire other girls like them.
“I remember when I was young and didn’t have female role models that were accessible,” says Stephanie. “Female athletes weren’t as represented in the media. I want young girls to grow up with dreams of being professional soccer players, of being gymnasts, of being figure skaters—whatever it is that they want to be.” Young girls need role models, whether in their peers, on TV or on social media. If more girls participate in sports, then it will normalize girls being as sweaty, competitive and driven as they want to be.
And here's the latest Always #LikeAGirl video:
Want to know more about Stephanie? She also answered a quick-fire round of questions:
What song do you play to pump yourself up? “Golden” by Travie McCoy featuring Sia.
What’s your guilty pleasure? Bacon.
What’s your biggest fear? I’m not scared of too much. But I guess being alone.
Do you have a favourite quote or mantra? Be the best version of you every day.
If I weren’t an athlete, I’d be… a personal trainer.
I’m proud to be Canadian because… I’m proud to be from a country that values individuality and difference and I’m proud to be part of country that has people that are so welcoming and positive.
Someday I hope to… win an Olympics.
Right now I’m reading or watching… I’m reading the book Wherever You Go, There You Are.
One thing you probably don’t know about me is… I’m into yoga and meditating. I meditate every day. For me, it’s something that I like to do and I feel like I’m able to play better when I meditate.