Two of Nelson’s soccer stars are off to play at the next level.
Mimi Lockhurst and Abby Jackson have accepted offers to play at the University of Regina and the University of Lethbridge, respectively. Both girls have been part of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC academy in Nelson for many years, and are part of the second class to graduate from the ‘Caps to College program.
“It’s a really tremendous moment for our program here in Nelson, and a testament to the work these girls have put in,” said Reynold Stewart, coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Kootenay Academy.
The ‘Caps to College program is a select team made up of players from the entire Kootenay region that travels to showcase tournaments in Canada and the U.S. with the express goal of earning scholarships for colleges and universities across the country. Both players have been on the senior girls team for the last two years and have fielded tons of interest from post-secondary institutions.
Both players were complimentary of the Whitecaps’ role in their development. Lockhurst said the program has “elevated the level of soccer training and competition in the Kootenays with high-calibre professional coaching.”
Jackson said that her coaches “know what it takes to get to the next level and were able to push me to get there and reach my goals.”
“Having two of our girls graduate from this program and commit to big universities in Canada is an amazing feeling and it’s really why we do the work that we do,” said Brett Adams, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy Technical Lead.
“Having worked closely with Mimi and Abby since I first arrived to Nelson almost seven years ago, I know how much time and dedication the girls have put into this and I’m really happy for them and their families.”
Lockhurst and Jackson have been standouts for the Nelson Soccer Association as well and have achieved great success while doing so. Both girls have played with Nelson Soccer Association’s rep teams that have made provincials time and time again, and have been with the L.V. Rogers high school soccer team that has shown very well in recent years.
Both players will be entering university as student-athletes, with Jackson pursuing a degree in nursing, and Lockhurst taking courses in sports management.
The universities the girls will be attending both play in the prairie division of Canada’s USPORTS league.