Canada’s gridiron future

Matwyczuk represents proud future of Canadian national women’s team

Named to the Canadian national women’s team that competed at the 2013 IFAF Women’s World Football Championships in Vantaa, Finland, it was a remarkable moment in the young career of Alexa Matwyczuk. As one of only nine women on the team born in the 1990’s, it showed that the future of women’s football in Canada holds a tremendous amount of promise.

Competing on the defensive line, Matwyczuk is also a provincially ranked athlete in track and field. Making her debut with Canada, it was validation for all the effort and hard work she displayed on and off the gridiron with the WWCFL’s Manitoba Fearless. The first time she stepped onto the field in the Canada uniform with her number 98 adorning her jersey, feelings of elations were also met with rookie jitters.

“I would have to say at first, I was nervous. Once I had played my first series, I had felt a great pride in playing against the best in the world and playing with other great athletes from across Canada.”

Like her teammates, the comeback win against Finland in the semi-finals represented a great chapter in the history of the national team. Facing a 12-6 halftime deficit, the squad roared back in the second half under the leadership of Aimee Kowalski at quarterback. For Matwyczuk, it showed that the competitive field of international women’s football is improving,

“The win for me, showed of how competitive Finland was as a team and that they wanted the win just as much as us.”

As one of several women from Manitoba to compete for the Canadian team, it was a point of pride to be able to share the Team Canada experience with them. With her club team being the North Winnipeg Nomads/Wolfpack, she was joined on the team by teammates Amy Mohr (the oldest player on the team at a remarkable 45 years of age) and Christine O’Donnell. Seeking guidance from her more experienced Wolfpack teammates, it provided Matwyczuk with the confidence to compete on the world’s biggest stage.

“The two veterans Amy (Mohr) and Christine (O’Donnell) were helpful with how to deal with their previous experience, which helped cope with being nervous.”

Juggling the commitments of athletics and academics as a student at the University of Manitoba, Matwyczuk is a role model for young female Manitobans hoping to emulate her gridiron success. Complemented by the fact that many competitors from the WWCFL participate in girls’ football camps, it marks a tremendous period of growth and excitement in the province. With the next IFAF Women’s Worlds only in 2017, a more experienced Matwyczuk will be a likely candidate to help Canada reach its golden dream.

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

One Comment

Leave a Reply