The Kwantlen Eagles woman’s soccer team flooded the Surrey campus with red last Thursday evening, as they celebrated their record-breaking bronze win at the National Soccer Championships in Ontario.
Students and staff gathered in the main entrance of C building to welcome the team with a roaring round of applause, as they addressed the crowd, flouting their provincial and national medals with pride.
The balloon-filled room was full of emotion as the team laughed through a slideshow of their journey to Toronto, and cried through the numerous speeches addressed to them.
David Atkinson, President of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, was one of the first speakers to congratulation the team.
“Thank you for what was the wettest weekend of my life,” said Atkinson, later joking that he “had to go home immediately and drink half a bottle of scotch.”
After extending an offer to take the whole team out for dinner, Atkinson couldn’t help but mention the accomplishments the university has made during his first year as president of the university.
“I have become very fond of saying ‘this year has been a year of firsts,’” said Atkinson, noting that Kwantlen received university status, established a Senate and now are receiving their first bronze medal for soccer.
Atkinson also surprised the team with a brand new soccer field, which will be built at the Newton Athletic Park by 2010. The field will be owned by Kwantlen, and feature a brand-new Eagles scoreboard.
“See what happens when you win a championship?” said Atkinson. “We spent $2 million. What a great deal!”
After Atkinson’s speech, members of the team shared some of their memories of their journey in Ontario for the national championships.
“We took the longest route possible, [with] shootouts,” said Kelsey Doherty, during her speech. “The ending? Victorious!”
When the time came to describe the big win, there was only one thing the girls could say:
“Overtime penalty kick it was,” said Sarah Davies, “and it landed us third place.”
While the ceremony Thursday evening ended with food and beverages, this is not the end of the Kwantlen Eagles celebration. In 2010, Atkinson will be back to congratulate team members ne more time as they celebrate with an official banner-raising ceremony.