Play. Inspire. Unite.
The OPDL Spotlight Series, presented by Toronto FC, highlights stories, teams and initiatives from around the league.
This week features a look at Burlington Bayhawks with comments from Alora Riddle - a player with their U-16 Girls OPDL squad.
There are many things that make Burlington Youth Soccer Club (BYSC) special. The training environment is top notch with high quality pitches, especially City View Park. The technical team and coaches come from a diverse background with many experienced staff striving to create the best development program for all players.
BYSC has also given me the opportunity to participate in skills showcases, such as UMBRO Showcase, Disney Showcase Tournament in Orlando, Crossroads of America, all of which have helped us (teammates) in the recruiting process for possible University Scholarships.
I can only speak for myself when I say it was the players on my team that originally attracted me to BYSC. I felt the players brought the intensity, passion and competitive drive I was looking for.
I really like that BYSC partners with resources like mypersonalfootballcoach.com. Everyone knows you don't become the best by only showing up to team practice. You must also take responsibility for your development in your own time and this is a great tool to help. They have also recently partnered with Twist Performance and Wellness.
There are many motivating factors to perform at your best but I think earning the respect and trust of my teammates, being proud of myself and feeling valued by the organization is what drives me. Of course, there is also the fact that we all want to win, get identified for higher soccer opportunities and get lots of playing time.
The main word that comes to my mind is commitment by Ontario Soccer, license holders, coaches, managers, match officials, parents, and most of all the players. We are young players with goals and dreams. We are relying on ourselves but also on each other to help make these dreams come true.
I could name the obvious like Messi but there are so many I love to watch! Keeping it female and Canadian, I have massive respect for Ashley Lawrence. She is a true role model since I aspire to reach any one of the achievements she has (playing for Canada, Olympics, World Cups, NCAA D1, and in Europe Professionally). Watching her as well as Buchanan in the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final was so cool and inspiring.
Alora Riddle has been playing since she could kick a ball. She began in recreational soccer at the age of four with Pickering SC and continued at Caledon SC. At age 11 she joined Bryst Academy playing both co-ed and U15 girls in SAAC. She joined the BYSC after SAAC and is now in her third year of OPDL.
Player with Burlington Bayhawks OPDL Girls U-16