Alyssa Chapman was pretty surprised at the news that she had been named to the Special Olympics Team Canada 2023 Training Squad. Having attended 2 previous World Games (2013 and 2017) as a figure skating athlete, Alyssa is certainly no stranger to competing as a member of Team Canada. Attending a Summer Games, as a soccer player, is a new, and exciting, experience for Alyssa. With the cancelation of the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games 2022, due to COVID-19, Alyssa joins a pan-Canadian team of athletes from across the country. Alyssa is looking forward to making some new friends on the team, and hopefully seeing some familiar faces too. Alyssa is excited to bond as a team, acknowledging that this is something that is going to be more challenging with her teammates and coaches so spread out. Alyssa is especially excited about the fact that this time around the soccer team is an all female team. Alyssa is looking forward to getting out there and showing that World what female athletes can do!
Alyssa has been an athlete with Special Olympics PEI for 20 years. Despite this being her first World Games opportunity for soccer, Alyssa is no stranger to the sport, having played since she was a kid. Alyssa has been participating in soccer with Special Olympics for over 10 years, making the move from competitive swimming to competitive soccer as her Summer sport following the National Summer Games in 2010. Alyssa represented PEI at the 2014 and 2018 National Summer Games as a soccer athlete.
Kieran Goodwin, a member of the soccer coaching staff at the Special Olympics Nova Scotia Summer Games, will be supporting Alyssa as her training coach. Kieran has been a volunteer coach with Special Olympics PEI for 6 years. Despite being relatively new to the Special Olympics movement, Kieran ranks the 2022 Provincial Games as one of the top 3 events he has attended. Despite the tough loss in the gold medal game (losing in penalty kicks), he is excited for the opportunity to do it all again next year. No stranger to the sport, Kieran played soccer for 25 years himself. Kieran shared Alyssa's excitement at this opportunity, noting that Alyssa's strong level at play at Provincial Games earned her the opportunity to be included on this team. Acknowledging the honor it is to wear the maple leaf, Kieran is looking forward to doing his best to get Alyssa ready for World Games. Kieran credits Alyssa's willingness to learn and adaptability to feedback as some of her best attributes as an athlete.