Girls’ tackle football league coming to Saskatoon
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2019 5:15PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:06PM CST
Saskatoon Minor Football (SMF) is months away from starting its inaugural season of girls’ tackle football.
“We’ve been talking about doing this for quite a few years,” said Michelle Duchene, general manager with the Saskatoon Valkyries and league coordinator with SMF.
“With the growth of the Valkyries we’ve definitely been having more and more younger girls interested in playing and we’ve been getting the questions every year: When are we going to start girls’ tackle football for elementary and high school aged kids?”
Duchene said they’re looking for at least 48 girls in Grades 7 and 8 to form four teams. The league is on pace for a May start with the schedule running through June.
“We currently have boys that age playing so we thought, why don’t we start females playing as well playing six-on-six which is a very introductory level,” Duchene said.
The long game is sparking football in women at a young age so when players have finished high school, the Saskatoon Valkyries will have a vast pool of potential rookies, she said.
“Obviously there are not a lot of girls who have experience, this is the perfect way for them to start getting some experience, learning about the game, meeting other girls who want to play football.”
Entering her sixth season with the Valkyries, Kelsey Murphy said she didn’t even watch football until one night she attended a fall training camp and quickly fell in love with the game.
“I wish I had this. It would have been an amazing experience to have before starting with the Valkyries,” Murphy said, adding she’s looking forward to coaching one of the four teams.
Last summer Moosomin, Melville, Yorkton and Regina participated in a girls’ tackle league and a Saskatoon league could springboard into a central Saskatchewan league, Duchene said.
“Potentially this could grow into, you know, Prince Albert, Melfort has a pocket of girls that are playing football there as well, and maybe even North Battleford,” she said.
“We want everyone to come and try it so if there are girls with some experience it’s good for them to bring that experience to the field and help with the other girls that are new to the game. We want anyone who is interested to come out and try it.”
Anyone interested in registering or learning more about the new tackle league can visit www.saskatoonminorfootball.com.