Cultivating skills

WWFG experience great education experience for rookie lineman Funk

Entering her inaugural season with the Saskatoon Valkyries, Alyssa Funk is eager to contribute to the team’s ambitions of capturing a fifth consecutive Western Women’s Canadian Football League (WWCFL) championship. Part of the opportunity to cultivate her skills came via the second annual Women’s World Football Games.

Hosted in Tampa, Florida, Funk was part of record number 15 Canadian women in attendance. With the event hosting women from over a dozen countries, it was an environment built on friendship and acquiring knowledge, with an emphasis on safety.
Possessed of optimism and an eagerness to learn, the University of Saskatchewan alum was keen to absorb as much as possible.

“This is my first year playing football, so my biggest reason for going to the WWFG was to learn as much as I could to come back home and apply it to my season with the Valkyries. I also saw it as a good opportunity to get to know the women from my own team by travelling and staying with them.”

Among the 15 Canadians in attendance, Funk was joined by five women that would become teammates on the Valkyires. Surrounded by such a strong supporting cast, the adventure of traveling to Florida, plus the camaraderie that simultaneously developed, held as much meaning to Funk as the event itself. It is an element of fun that comes from being part of a team.

Thrilled and exhilarated at the chance to share in the experience with so many other Canadian women, it was defined by the spirit of friendship and not competition. Among some of the other competitors of the WWCFL in attendance, Tanya Henderson and Steph Mackie proudly represented the Edmonton Storm.

“Six of us Canadians at the WWFG now play together with the Valkyries and I did meet most of the other Canadians during my time there. I still get to see and play against some of them in the WWCFL now that we are back home on our regular teams.”

Funk’s experience at the WWFG was testament to her dedication and the desire to make a meaningful contribution to the Valkyries. Getting the chance to prepare for an adjustment to the WWCFL in a remarkable environment, it has proven to be part of a very positive learning experience in her incipient career.

“The best part about being there was getting to experience playing football with women from all around the world. The sport truly brings people together and it is amazing to see how everyone can put their many differences aside to play the sport we love together. My game improved substantially from attending the camp and it was an amazing experience to be a part of!”

For Funk, the learning still continues. She has the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge of fourth year offensive linemen such as Jaime Lammerding, Elena Kube and Kendra Wilson along with third year player Alex Wojcichowski. Such talent ensures that Funk will proudly carry on their legacies and ensure that more championship days lay ahead.

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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