Reading’s Deanne Rose: ‘Representation and role models matter so much in sports’

Olympic winner on growing up as a black female athlete in Canada, starting a football camp for girls and the importance of friendshipDeanne Rose may be living more than 3,000 miles from home, after being signed by Reading last July, but that hasn’t dented her plans to give back to the community she grew up in. In June, she will hold her first soccer camp in her hometown of Alliston in Ontario, Canada, for girls aged between eight and 14. “I thought it was the perfect opportunity when I come back home to be able to give them something,” she says of her plans. “Representation and role models just matter so much in sports and for young kids growing up … I want [the camp] to be really enjoyable and set the platform and the landscape for what it could be in the future.”That her family and community is what drives her is clear to see: when she helped Canada become Olympic champions in Tokyo last year, scoring a pivotal penalty during a shootout against Sweden in the final. “They couldn’t be in Tokyo but I felt them the entire way,” she wrote on Instagram afterwards, alongside a photo of her with her medal, alongside family and friends, in Alliston. “To my support system and the countless people not seen in this picture, this gold is ours.” Her hometown is clearly proud of her, throwing a parade for her on her return, with residents lining the streets.

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