Second time sweeter

Boyles enjoys a second remarkable run with Canada on football’s international stage

As one of the few women to hold the unique distinction of playing twice for Canada’s national team at the IFAF Women’s Worlds, Lori Boyles has helped break new ground for the budding sport. Donning her traditional number 81, she was part of a second consecutive silver medal effort as Canada remains one of the top teams to beat in the world.

Occupying a defensive role in Vantaa, Finland, Boyles would log 2.5 tackles. At the 2010 IFAF Worlds in Stockholm, Boyles accumulated 21 receiving yards (third-best on the Canadian squad) and managed 0.5 tackles.

While she has seen the sport grow since the first edition of the IFAF Women’s Worlds, the positive changes in the sport increased her already high level of commitment to the game. In reflecting on her involvement in both events, she has noted how a comparison provided a unique perspective.

“When comparing my two experiences, there were many differences and similarities. The main difference was, the second time around, the fear of the unknown was gone. Yet the expectation to perform to at least silver medal performance was gained. The skill level of all returning teams had increased and our result of silver medal stayed the same. Our preparation from tryouts, to Canada Challenge Cup, to my individual training leading up to our trip, and our training camp were all more intense for the 2013 tournament.”

Providing strong leadership for the Canadian contingent, Boyles is also one of the centerpieces of the Saint John Storm’s offensive attack. A four-time Maritime Women’s Football League All-Star selection, she would earn one of the league’s highest honours, a spot on the MWFL All-Decade Team. Although she was one of only two Storm competitors on the 2013 team, the other member of the Storm would be a good friend and highly cherished teammate. Trina Graves, who also played with her in Stockholm was one of Team Canada’s captains in Finland.

“Sharing this experience with one other Saint John Storm player was bitter sweet for me. While it was difficult to leave behind some of my teammates who tried out, it was also great to have one to come along for the ride with me. I was very grateful and proud to have made the final roster and not only have another Storm player coming with me, but several MWFL players. I became friends with some of my league rivals during our time as teammates at Worlds.”

Of note, Alex Black was the only other MWFL player who competed in 2010. In addition, Storm teammate Melissa Daley was part of the 2013 squad as a member of the support staff.

Whenever a talent as special as Boyles earns the opportunity to don the Team Canada jersey, it provides one with many meaningful moments. Of all the moments she experienced at the 2013 Worlds, her favorite is one that she shares with many of her gridiron sisters,

“There were a lot of great moments in Finland, but if I had to choose just one it would be our come from behind win against Finland to secure our spot in the gold medal game.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

Photo credit: Manon Migner

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