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Canadian Mobilio looks to overcome injury setbacks

08-16-2011 13:58 BJT Special Report:2011 Shenzhen 26th Summer Universiade |

By Erin Meagher,Young Reporter, (Canada)

SHENZHEN, August 14,2011 -For the thousands of athletes competing at the 26th Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, their sources of inspiration to compete come in so many forms. For Melissa Mobilio, a 22-year-old Canadian women’s football player from Coquitlam, British Columbia, her inspiration arises in two very significant ways.

Canadian Mobilio looks to overcome injury setbacks.

From an athletic standpoint, Mobilio is inspired by her determination to overcome the disappointment of missing the 2009 Summer Universiade in Serbia. She was forced to skip the Games after sustaining a serious back injury, of which her coach said had the potential to be career ending.

Two years later, after an extensive period of hard work and rehabilitation, Mobilio has a second chance to dawn the Maple Leaf as she is a key member of the 2011 Canadian women’s football team in Shenzhen.

“It’s amazing being here and actually experiencing what all of the girls talked about two years ago when they all went to Serbia,” said Mobilio following Canada's 1-0 loss on Saturday to China. “It’s just breathtaking.”

Mobilio experienced many ups and downs during her recovery period and says that her “emotions that year were a rollercoaster.” She was fortunate enough to have a strong support system to help her overcome the disappointment of not being able to play the sport she loves.

“My family was amazing and supported me 100 per cent. They had to deal with me being in pain and you know as parents and as a brother, it’s hard watching somebody that you love who wants to succeed in that kind of pain.”

The coach of the Canada's women’s football team, Graham Roxburgh, has also had the opportunity to coach Mobilio at Trinity Western University (TWU) for the past three years. Roxburgh, along with TWU trainer Natalie Ghobrial had a huge impact on Mobilio’s recovery.

“He (Graham Roxburgh) impacts me both on and off the field,” she said. “He has pushed me to become a better player and most importantly a better person. He has done anything and everything he can for me and I really appreciate that.”

This is the second Universiade for Roxburgh as he also coached the Canadian squad at the Games in 2009. He made it known that Mobilio’s selection to represent Canada in 2009 did not ensure her a spot on this year’s team.

“When I got selected (to coach) again it wasn’t an automatic that she would be on the team,” said Roxburgh. “I trust her more than I trust a lot of players across the CIS. I’ve seen her do it at the highest level. She’s an intelligent player and I’m lucky I get to coach her.”

From a personal standpoint, when Mobilio steps onto the field wearing her country’s colors, she draws inspiration from her late cousin, Domenic Mobilio, who passed away suddenly in 2004 at the age of 34. Domenic had been one of Canada’s top soccer players and was a significant mentor in Melissa's soccer career.

When asked about the influence her cousin had on her as a soccer player, Mobilio still is overcome with emotion.

“He was like a second dad to me,” she said. “A dad that both on and off the field was a role model. I looked up to him and I knew him as my cousin. He was someone that impacted me completely.”

Although it has been seven years since he passed away, Mobilio still cherises the relationship that they had every time she steps onto the field.

“I wear an ankle band for him and I have since he passed away,” said Mobilio. “It’s definitely hard going through opportunities like this and not being able to have him present. But as cliché as it is, he’s up there and when I stepped out on the field today I had an instant feeling of saying ‘wow this is so cool and this is something that we, before he passed away, talked about.’”

Mobilio is unsure of where her football career will lead her next, but for now she is relishing every moment here in Shenzhen.

“It is just something that you dream about and I can’t even explain it,” she said. “I’m just going to focus on the next week we have left here and just soak it all in.

“I’m going into my last season at Trinity Western and I’m going to focus on being the best player that I can be and making a huge, lasting impact so that the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) knows who Melissa Mobilio is,” she adds. “We’ll see where the road takes me.”

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: CNTV

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