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Laurier Grads Soar: Tania Pedron
Laurier Grads Soar is a multi-part series that has returned for the 2017-18 year. The segment features former Wilfrid Laurier University athletes and student-leaders in the Athletics and Recreation Department, and the success they have enjoyed since leaving Laurier. Written by award-winning journalist David Grossman, different features will be released throughout the year that will emphasize the role Athletics and Recreation played in helping them achieve succes.

Tania Pedron- Manager of Administration and Operations at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment

Forget the performance numbers, although they are spectacular and unprecedented.

Simply put, Tania Pedron just might be one of the top female soccer players to ever wear a Wilfrid Laurier University jersey.

But the rise to dominance, from high school to club to university soccer, hasn’t been easy for a star athlete, who was honored with an induction to the prestigious Laurier Hall of Fame in 2016.

Take, for instance, the strain that athletes go through to be in peak shape. For Pedron, there was also pain – lots of it.

“I played with pain during my entire soccer career (at Laurier),” revealed Pedron, who sustained a knee injury and still chose to play. “I’m obsessed with soccer and I put so much pressure on myself to be there, do my best and help my teammates.”

The injury was just one in a rash of problems for the soccer star, who learned the game at the age of nine when presented with a soccer ball by her father. The injury list: Pedron tore a tendon behind her knee, also ripped one of her four major ligaments in the same area and fractured a bone.

Pedron said there was a time when doctors had indicated her playing days were over and, she claimed, (doctors) said “if she pursued that there would be a 93% chance of leg paralysis”.

Despite the prognosis, and dealing with an inflammatory condition that resulted in a deep aching sensation in the hip, Pedron was humble, confident and persevered with a sport that had engulfed her life.

“In 2014, I decided to have a surgery in Toronto and was bed ridden for six weeks,” she said. “Doctors were confident that I would play again, but I was told that things were not healing. Things didn’t feel right and I had lost some feeling in my left hamstring. It was hard to accept, but I am fortunate to have accomplished so much and be where I am.”

At Laurier, Pedron was a two-time all-Canadian, five times chosen to Ontario University Athletics all-star squad, was instrumental in 2008 and 2010 OUA gold medal championships. Tack on Golden Hawk team MVP and, in 2011 chosen to the highest honor by an active athlete – President’s Award winner as the top female athlete.

Pedron did all of that while maintaining impressive academic grades before graduating with an Honors Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing.

Realizing that her competitive playing days were over, opportunities developed after graduation and she caught the attention of executives with her sports and academic skills.

It wasn’t long and Pedron was on the professional scene in venue management. She was appointed Manager of Administration and Operations at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment with priorities on Toronto FC – one of the top teams in Major League Soccer.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity and working with superb people,” she said. “For some people, moving up can be overwhelming and they can forget the past. For me, I know that if it weren’t for my time at Laurier, I wouldn’t be (at TFC) today. Laurier helped me grow up. The people I met, were superb and always meant well. By far, some of my best years of my life were at Laurier.”

With a busy schedule, Pedron gave up part-time coaching. But, she does devote time volunteering with players at a variety of team charitable events at The Hospital for Sick Children and Greener Goals – a variety of initiatives to support the environment.

Written By: David Grossman
David Grossman is a veteran award-winning Journalist and Broadcaster with some of Canada’s major media, including the Toronto Star and SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN, and a Public Relations professional for 40+ years in Canadian sports and Government relations.
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