Carli Tingstad began carving out her own path in soccer before women working in the sports world was normalized.
However, the Brock Badgers women’s soccer coach and Sport Club and Leadership Co-ordinator said there’s still work to be done to empower women through education and sport. On International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8, she reflected on how far sport has come and how far it still must go.
“The game has grown immensely even since my short time in it,” Tingstad said. “There is more opportunity for women players to play and already many more female coaches than when I first started, but we have a responsibility to raise awareness about discrimination and take action toward women’s equality.”
Last year, women’s soccer experienced pivotal growth in global revenue from commercial assets, such as broadcast deals and sponsorships, according to FIFA.
Former Canadian national team players Christine Sinclair and Diana Matheson also announced a professional women’s league will launch in Canada in 2025.
The positive trends give Tingstad hope as she imagines a world that’s equitable and inclusive and is bullish on the future of her sport.
“I think the women’s game over the next couple of years is just going to continue growing, especially in Canada following the announcement of the women’s professional league,” she said. “It’s an extremely exciting time for our country and the women’s side of the game. I have no doubt the number of female players and coaches will grow.”
In January, Tingstad received an opportunity to work remotely as an analyst with FC Nordsjælland, a professional women’s soccer club in Farum, Denmark, that competes in the Danish top division, the Elitedivisionen.
She travelled overseas to work with the club in person during its pre-season training camp in Türkiye earlier this month.
“It means the world to me to have the opportunity to work with a professional women’s team. I love learning and I am exceptionally lucky for this moment,” Tingstad said. “This was my first exposure to a professional environment overseas.”
Tingstad, who grew up in Vernon, B.C., was first introduced to the sport of soccer at the age five — and hasn’t looked back.
“I have loved the game for as long as I can remember and cannot recall a time in my life without soccer,” she said.
That passion for the game led her to play the position of centre-back before moving into a career in coaching.
Tingstad joined the Badgers in April 2022 and has made an impact on the women’s soccer program in a short period of time, said senior goalkeeper Emma Hendrie.
“Having a strong female leader is something our team relishes. Carli is that and more for all of us as she pushes us to always do our best and never stop working,” said the fourth-year Teacher Education student. “She has changed our team culture for the better and I am proud to have her as a positive role model in my life.”
Prior to joining Brock, Tingstad was as an assistant coach for seven seasons with the University of British Columbia Okanagan women’s soccer team.
Tingstad holds several coaching certifications, most notably a Union of European Football Associations A License she completed with the Scottish Football Association.
She was the head coach of the Thompson Okanagan Football Club from 2015-2020 — which competed in the B.C. Soccer Premier League, the highest calibre of youth club soccer in B.C. — and the staff coach with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Okanagan Academy Centre from 2013-19.
Tingstad earned a Master of High-Performance Sport Coaching from the University of Stirling in Scotland, a Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching from Douglas College and a Diploma of Human Kinetics from Okanagan College.