Naval Reservist named RCN team captain as CISM Canadian women’s soccer team competes on the world stage

Master Sailor (MS) Bailey Toupin

Lt(N) Donald Den,
Public Affairs Officer, HMCS Malahat

Playing soccer in 36 degree heat is no feat for the weak, and a Naval Communicator at HMCS Malahat, Victoria’s Naval Reserve Division, remembers it well.

“As we had only arrived in Spokane, Wash., a couple days earlier, no one had properly acclimated to the heat – it was grueling to play in and we were playing against a strong team,” said Master Sailor (MS) Bailey Toupin, Team Captain for the Royal Canadian Navy branch of the International Military Sports Council (CISM) Canadian Women’s Soccer Team.

The team partook in the 13th CISM World Women’s Football Championship from July 11–22 at the U.S. Fairchild Air Force Base. CISM is an international organization that brings together Armed Forces’ personnel from all nations to compete in sport. Women’s soccer is one of the many sports the Canadian Armed Forces has CISM-level athletes participating in international competitions.

MS Toupin, a member of the Royal Canadian Navy since 2010, had been playing for the CISM Women’s Soccer Team since 2016 before being named a Team Captain this year for the World Championships.

“It was a huge honor to be selected to help lead such a skilled team of players competing on an international stage,” MS Toupin said.

MS Toupin said her team was faced with particularly tough opponents to begin the tournament and were challenged by the soaring temperatures.

“It was a fairly surreal experience as many of the countries have professional players on their teams, which made for some pretty challenging matches as none of our players are playing at the professional level,” MS Toupin said.

However, she said, playing against strong teams allowed them to compete at a level most players in Canada never get the opportunity to. MS Toupin and her CISM Canada teammates rose to the occasion, with a particularly strong performance against France, holding them scoreless until the 60th minute of the match.

Being able to take part in sport alongside other Armed Forces’ personnel from other countries is one of the main reasons MS Toupin said her experience was valuable.

“Participating in world-level competitions promotes a high level of fitness, increased confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills while fostering friendship through sport between involved countries,” MS Toupin said upon returning to Canada.

Hearing that MS Toupin had been named as a Team Captain, Commander Cameron Miller, HMCS Malahat’s Commanding Officer, said that MS Toupin is an exceptional sailor and leader, truly representing the values of the Naval Reserve.

“The ship’s company could not be prouder of the news that she and her teammates will be representing Canada’s military on the world sporting stage,” he said.

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