Member Spotlight: Meet Carrie
Name: Carrie Taylor
Sentiments to live by: Try to walk the walk
What’s your favorite soccer memory?
Oh, a really special one was in my junior year when my teammates and I went to Acapulco. We were just walking along the beach as a squad and came across a group of local men playing beach soccer. Straight away, we went up to them and said, “Hey, can we play?” (Laughs) They looked at us like we were crazy! This was 1993 and women’s soccer was not where it is now. The men kinda looked us up and down and then said, “Yeah…okay.” Let me tell you, we played for hours! We mixed the teams up and the whole time everyone was laughing, high-fiving, and taking pictures. It was just such a magical moment of, “Yes, this game really does unite people!”
That’s so awesome, Carrie! I think I speak for everyone right now when I say I’d do anything to be on a beach playing soccer with strangers! What do you think is the greatest thing about women’s soccer?
Wow…that actually really hits me as a deep question.
For starters, it’s a game all women can play, whether you’re six or sixty…and I mean that—there’s a group here in San Diego called the Prime of Life League for women over 45!
I also love that the women’s game is growing. Women can play it, watch it, coach it, and work in it. I’m excited by how much more we have yet to see the women’s game become. Overall, I love that women’s soccer is powerful and it teaches life lessons like perseverance, grit, and determination. I think that’s especially important for women in a society that still overlooks us!
Yes, yes, and yes! What inspires you even when things are tough?
For me, it always comes back to thinking about my hometown of Flint, Michigan. We had a summer sports program called CANUSA which was about creating friendships with people in Canada. The program has been running for over 60 years and it’s still ongoing. It was through those summer hometown programs that I really learned to love the game and the connection it could offer. In Flint, sports were the way to get out and see more of the world. For instance, if you were a good player you got to travel and play in Canada and that was my first taste of, “I can get out there and make something of myself.” So whenever I’m in a situation where I feel overwhelmed or discouraged I try to think, “Carrie, you’ve come from Flint, you can do anything!” There’s this funny meme hometowners post periodically that I lean into and apply to the challenges ahead. If in doubt I just read: “B*tch please, I’m from Flint.”
(Laughing) I love it, I’m from a wee mining town in Scotland so I relate! What’s a soccer organization that is doing work for underrepresented communities that you admire?
I’m involved in an organization called Coaches Across Continents and they work with coaches in countries all over the world. It’s less about the X’s and O’s and more about how we can use this game to develop social issues. Like using soccer to teach gender equity and human rights advocacy. I especially love that the Coaches Across Continent model is not about “coming into” different cultures and imposing values. It’s about connecting and amplifying the work of soccer organizations that already exist in different communities. It’s a sustainable impact and it centers listening to the experiences of others which is so important.
Absolutely. What impact do you think connecting more women and allies will have on the equity of soccer?
I think there’s power in numbers and women tend to excel in collaboration. The more we can collaborate with each other and other organizations, the greater impact we will have. It’s the difference between having some people doing great work in fragmented silos or us saying, “Hey, you’re doing something in San Diego that we’re trying to do in New York, can you help?” It’s about bringing women and allies together under one hub.
What makes you excited about WIS?
I’m excited to have space (even if virtually, for now) to be surrounded by passionate, thoughtful, strong-willed women and allies. The ally piece of it is key because involving men gives us the opportunity to showcase the power of the women’s game in a way that invites men to support and amplify that. Also, given what’s going on in our world the inclusive drive of the WIS community is so needed. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and our different lived experiences. I think using the game to learn how we can support each other more is inspiring and so powerful. Let’s just come together as the Women In Soccer squad and be united as badasses!
What an ender! Let’s do it, Carrie!
WIS member spotlights are conducted and written by our content producer Pip Penman.