The Western Women’s Canadian Football League is a far cry from the controversial spectacle of lingerie football. These women are in it solely for the love of real tackle football.
The Western Women’s Canadian Football League (WWCFL) is inviting females aged 16 and up to a league open house in Red Deer from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the west soccer pitch inside the Collicutt Centre on Saturday.
The organization is the first all-women’s inter-provincial tackle football league in Western Canada.
In its second year, there are three teams in Alberta and seven altogether.
Players from the league’s Calgary Rage, Edmonton Storm and Lethbridge Steel will run drills and set up demonstrations in the hope of drumming up interest in Central Alberta.
Linda Craig, president of the WWCFL, said they would love to add a fourth Alberta team, and that the goal is to have a Red Deer team established by 2013.
“There has always been women wanting to play tackle football and this is creating something for girls who may have never known this was an option,” said Craig, who has played tackle football for five years.
“We dare you to come try it. It’s an amazing feeling inside that helmet. You can know nothing and we will train you and take you from zero,” she said.
“We certainly have never interacted with this group before so this is a first,” said Rob Meckling, community and program facilitator with the City of Red Deer.
“The league noticed there was a gap in Central Alberta and they were wanting to get their foot in this area.”
Meckling said the city received a call from a mother in Ponoka whose daughter plays on a high school football team, expressing excitement at such a league having an open house in Red Deer.
“You hear just as many stories where girls are denied from their high school football teams, where they try to break the male barrier of that sport and have had a lot of difficulty,” Meckling said.
“It is a rough sport, there is no doubt about it, but it doesn’t mean that it is exclusive to men only.” Saturday’s open house is free and will give interested participants the opportunity to speak with players from the teams and participate in the drills.
There is no skill level expectation. Equipment will be available on site.
“We are going to continue with this group and discuss the possibilities of a league game or exhibition game being played here in early July,” Meckling said.
For more information on the WWCFL, visit www.wwcfl.com.