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Dec. 12 to be proclaimed Christine Sinclair day in B.C.

Canadian women’s soccer legend plays her second to last international game in Langford Friday night
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Christine Sinclair and Team Canada during a practice session at Starlight Stadium on Thursday. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Dec. 12 will be proclaimed Christine Sinclair Day in B.C. to recognize the “extraordinary career” of the Canadian women’s soccer legend, Tourism and Sport Minister Lana Popham announced on Friday.

The date represents Sinclair’s No. 12 jersey and her birth date of June 12.

Sinclair, captain of the Canadian women’s national soccer team, holds the record for the most international goals scored by any player in soccer history. Born and raised in Burnaby, she has been named Canadian female soccer player of the year 14 times.

Sinclair, who will play the second-last game of her international career Friday night against Australia at Starlight Stadium in Langford, reminds us that “big goals are attainable with passion, discipline, and sportsmanship,” said Popham.

Recognizing the Canadian soccer icon will help inspire young athletes, especially young girls and women, for decades to come, said Popham, who represents Saanich South.

Langford-Juan de Fuca MLA Ravi Parmar will present the proclamation Friday night at the stadium.

“Hosting the penultimate game of Christine’s international soccer career at the Starlight Stadium is a moment of immense joy for our community,” Parmar said, in a news release.

The game isn’t just a soccer match but the celebration of a legendary career that has inspired countless people and athletes, he said.

Sinclair made her soccer debut for the Canadian national team at age 16. Her two-decade career has included multiple FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments, three Olympic medals, including a bronze medal in 2012 and 2016, and a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, according to the province.

In 2022, Sinclair won the Best FIFA Special Award as the world’s all-time leading goal scorer.

In a statement, Sinclair — who began playing the game as a four-year-old on the same fields that are now part of the Christine Sinclair Community Centre — said she hopes Christine Sinclair Day inspires others to “dream big and work hard to achieve their goals.”

On Dec. 5, B.C. Place will temporarily rename the stadium Christine Sinclair Place in celebration of her final match representing the Canada Women’s National Soccer Team against Australia.

Sinclair will again be honoured Dec. 6 at B.C. Place for Sinclair’s retirement party. Net proceeds from the event will go to the new Christine Sinclair Foundation dedicated to empowering “Girls with Goals.”

Jason Elligott, executive director of B.C. Soccer, said proclaiming Dec. 12 as Christine Sinclair Day is a testament to her commitment, effort and passion for the game that has fuelled the growth of soccer in B.C., Canada and internationally.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com