KPU's FIFA Women's World Cup Connection

Fri, Jul 21, 2023

The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup began on July 20 half a world away in Australia and New Zealand, but there’s a connection with Team Canada right here at KPU.

Even if you don’t know anything about soccer, or women’s soccer, you probably know the name Christine Sinclair. She is to women’s soccer what Wayne Gretzky is to hockey (or maybe it’s the other way around). The Burnaby, B.C.-native is also an honorary KPU alumna.

On October 6, 2015, KPU awarded Sinclair with an honorary doctorate of laws (Honoris Causa) for her community and public service. As a small token of her appreciation, Sinclair gifted a signed soccer ball to KPU, which is now on display in the archives, located in the KPU Surrey library.

Heading into the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, 40-year-old Sinclair is still Team Canada’s captain and considered one of the best players of all time.

Sinclair has played in 323 games for Team Canada since her first appearance in 2000 and has scored 190 goals. To put those numbers into perspective, Sinclair holds the title for most goals scored in international competition, for both men and women. These achievements earned her the FIFA Special Award for an Outstanding Career Achievement in 2020.

Christine Sinclair speaking at KPU convocation in 2015

Her other on-field achievements include an Olympic gold medal from 2020, two bronze medals from 2012 and 2016, a Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Championship in 2010, alongside four runner-up finishes in 2002, 2006, 2018, and 2022, and a Pan American Games gold medal in 2011.

Sinclair has used her iconic status to give back to the sport and to the communities around her with many charitable initiatives. These include Canadian Women's Foundation’s Show Up For Girls campaign, and acting as an ambassador for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

Sinclair has hinted that this could be her final World Cup appearance, and Captain Canada would surely like to add the elusive title of world champion to her already impressive list of achievements. This could be the last chance to cheer on one of the greatest soccer players of all time, and a true Canadian icon.

The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup kicks off on July 20. Team Canada is looking to repeat their gold medal success from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and capture Canada's first World Cup championship. 

Canada’s first game against Nigeria on July 20 ended in a tie. The tournament runs through August 20.