Karina LeBlanc – Nominee for Humanitarian of the Year

Karina LeBlanc – Nominee for Humanitarian of the Year

By Erik Erlendsson

As a young girl in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Karina LeBlanc realized to attain her dream, she needed to seek help.

That bold decision to reach out to her community changed her life as the two-time Olympian served as a goalkeeper for the Canadian National Women’s Soccer team for 18 years, earning 110 caps.

Seeing how that decision as a teenager changed the course of her life, LeBlanc wants to help other young girls reach their dreams.

That’s the goal of the Karina LeBlanc Foundation, to offer resources for adolescent girls of all socio-economic backgrounds to achieve their dreams and produce future leaders. Part of the foundation promotes a program that focuses on three important lessons LeBlanc learned as a teenager – learn to be a leader who cares, understanding self-discovery and daring to dream big.

A $500 donation from Marv Jones to help her start on her dreams inspires a grant program through LeBlanc’s Foundation to help girls go to summer camps to enhance their skills in sports or other activities while also creating a mentorship program.

In addition to her foundation, LeBlanc was named as the first female soccer player to serve as an official Ambassador for UNICEF Canada. A strong public speaker, LeBlanc has also served as a CONCACAF and FIFA Ambassador while speaking at events such as FIFA Equality and Inclusion Panel, United Nations General Assembly and partnered with FIFA’s Live Your Goals to create More Leaders More Often Through Sport.

Raised in Dominica until the age of eight, LeBlanc relocated to British Columbia with her family and began playing soccer at the age of 12. While also an accomplished basketball player, LeBlanc chose soccer and went on to be the starting goalkeeper for the University of Nebraska where she was a finalist for the 2000 Hermann Trophy as the top female college soccer player.

During her time with the Canadian National team, LeBlanc participated in two Olympics, winning a bronze medal in 2012 at the London Games, five World Cups and two Pan American Games, winning a gold medal in 2011. She retired from soccer in 2015 following the World Cup to dedicate her time to her charitable work.

You can support your favorite nominee in this campaign by favoriting, donating, tweeting and joining his/her team with a chance to be recognized as one of his/her top supporters.  Starting Friday, June 9, you can also come back daily to “Boost” your favorite daily.  Fans receive points for joining a team, donating, tweeting, boosting or responding to “ do-gooder challenges”.  The direct link to Karina’s page is https://asu.givkwik.com/KarinaLeBlanc

About the award: Started in 2013 by Alan Pavlosky and Scott Manthorne, Co-Founders of All Sports United, the Most Valuable Philanthropist seeks to recognize the effort of deserving sports philanthropists each year and bring positive news while highlighting the amazing charitable work of many in the sports community.  The winner of the award will receive $10,000 to his or her charity of choice.  The campaign is supported by technology partners Givkwik and xocial.  Each of the partners plays a crucial role in executing the campaign.  Special Thanks to All Sports United Supporter Jeff Tutor for his contributions to the campaign.

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