Ontario Soccer and Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) are proud to build on its partnership established last year in continuing the MilkUP Ontario Soccer Future Leaders Program.
Now in its second iteration, the MilkUP Future Leader Awards, a key component of the program, was created to celebrate the outstanding achievements of youth from the soccer community in Ontario. The award acknowledges the selfless display of civic care, pride in one's sport and leadership, an attitude of resilience and strong work ethic, and a constant desire for impact and improvement.
“We are thrilled to support this year’s recipients of our MilkUP Ontario Soccer Future Leaders Program who show tremendous resilience, sportsmanship and leadership on and off the field,” said Cheryl Smith, Chief Executive Officer of DFO. “MilkUP is DFO's youth lifestyle brand that was created with youth success in mind. Through this program, we recognize these four outstanding Ontario youth athletes who demonstrate MilkUP's values: perseverance, originality and heart.”
This year’s recipients include four young women who have made an outstanding impact on the local soccer community as a leader, player, coach, match official or administrator.
This year’s recipients are:
Kyra A. Herd: Residing in the York region in the GTA, Kyra has been a match official, has experience coaching having completed the Cosmos Coaching Development Program with the North York Soccer Club and was a volunteer with the clubs Special Olympics.
Kyra has played soccer at the club, high school and post-secondary levels. Her successes include: 2018 TSA League Cup Champions, 2019 TDSSAA North Regional Champions and runner ups at the Markham Tournament Cup. Kyra’s other accomplishments include: Principals Award for Student Leadership at Three Valleys Public School, Valedictorian at Donview Middle Health and Wellness Academy, and more.
Selena Zhang: Also residing in the York region in the GTA, Selena has coached with her club team, the North York Cosmos Soccer Club, where her accomplishments as a player include 2017 and 2018 League Cup Finalist and 2022 TDSSAA Regional North Regional Indoor Soccer Champion.
Selena currently holds a 96 per cent average at York Mills Collegiate Institute and is currently seeking a business program at a Canadian university.
Emma Prange: From Douglas, Ontario, Emma has coached at various levels, has experience as a match official and has volunteered for many community events with various organizations, including: Opeongo Minor Soccer Club, Renfrew Hospital, CDE Dance Academy and more.
Emma has played soccer almost her entire life with the Opeongo Minor Soccer Club in Douglas and also played on her varsity high school soccer team. Emma is now completing a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the University of New Brunswick.
Paige Robert: From Ottawa, Paige has coached several soccer teams at different levels, notably with Ottawa TFC, has officiated basketball and has volunteered for various soccer and basketball events over several years. As an athlete, Paige is an accomplished goalkeeper, currently with Ottawa TFC in the OPDL. Her accomplishments as a soccer player include: 2019 U17 Ontario Cup and Toyota Canadian National Championship winner, 2021 U17 Ontario Provincial Development League winner and 2021 U17 Gary Miller Charity Shield Cup Championship.
Paige has committed to playing soccer at Bishop’s University while studying Political Science and plans to attend law school after completing her undergraduate program.
The award recipients were honoured at a luncheon at the 2022 Centre Circle Awards, a prestigious annual event held by Ontario Soccer to honour deserving soccer leaders and organizations who have contributed to the development of soccer in Ontario and Canada.
“Congratulations to each of the four recipients,” said Johnny Misley, Ontario Soccer’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to have such impactful, driven, and impressive young leaders thrive within our soccer community. Ontario Soccer would also like to thank DFO for their support as we develop the next generation of leaders in the sport of soccer in Ontario.”
As part of the MilkUP Future Leader Awards, each recipient will receive a $2,500 education bursary that will help to offset some of their post-secondary education costs.
For more information on the MilkUP Future Leaders award, please click here.