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MilkUP Future Leaders Award – Central West: Vanessa Ciofani

Driven by the tenacity and resilience she learned as a soccer player, coach and match official, Vanessa has had an extensive and significant impact in both the soccer and local communities over the last number of years.

Embracing the value of teamwork on and off the pitch, Vanessa has been a tireless mentor for fellow match officials and community volunteers alike, helping with the development of youth focused programs, as well as acting as a convenor for a number of major festivals to raise participation opportunities and accessibility for students.

Having played at the Oakville Soccer Club since 2007, she pursued opportunities to give back as both a coach and a match official, where she officiated in excess of 100 recreational and competitive small-sided and Entry Level games for both her Club and throughout the Peel Halton Soccer Association District.

Beyond that she has become an invaluable mentor and role model providing program support to hundreds of officials in Oakville and having guided her peers in over 250 recreational and competitive games.

Not satisfied with simply doing the volunteer work, Vanessa also displayed her constant desire for impact and improvement by getting involved in a graduate studies research project about effects of peer mentorship on performance and turnover at grassroots levels.

The Headset Research Project, she was supporting as a Team Captain, where officials at all levels could receive live mentoring at festivals was another example of her innovative and outside-the- box thinking.

Being NCCP accredited to teach professional development courses, her immense skills and constantly growing mentorship experience has also led to her being invited to present at the Coaching Association of Canada Conference 2021.

As an inspiring young leader and community builder Vanessa was selected as Assistant Team Leader to supervise 400+ youth and adult individuals at age of 17 with education modules and training workshops developed.

She has graduated from St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School in Oakville. She now attends the Bachelor of Criminology program at Ryerson University.