Helping to script history

Daley brings new perspective to Team Canada

Having competed with Team Canada at the inaugural IFAF Women’s World Championships in 2010, Melissa Daley helped to write an exciting chapter in women’s sporting history. Playing alongside more than a dozen of her teammates from the Saint John Storm, she started in two games and contributed with two total tackles. For Daley, the Team Canada experience of 2010 culminated with a silver medal.

Three years later, Daley would still be a proud member of the Canadian contingent. Rather than playing, Daley was part of the support staff. As a Registered Massage Therapist, she would bring her healing hands to a Canadian team that successfully finished atop the medal podium at the 2013 IFAF Women’s Worlds in Vantaa, Finland.

Proving that players could still make worthwhile contributions to the game after playing, Daley’s presence brought with it positive energy. While being on the sidelines was very different compared to competing three years earlier, the opportunity to still be involved with Team Canada was one that was very rewarding for her,

“Being a part of the staff for TC 2013 was definitely a memorable moment. It was a different ball game to be on the sidelines but I was extremely proud of all of the players. To see how much hard work and dedication they put in, they definitely earned their spot to be on the gridiron fighting for every inch. It was difficult at times but my chest was full of pride knowing I was helping our country’s best female athletes.”

Of all the Storm players that had comprised the 2010 roster, only two had returned for 2013. Trina Graves was named as a co-captain while contributing on defense, while Lori Boyles returned as a wide receiver. Of note, Boyles and Graves also played with Daley on Team Atlantic at the 2012 National Women’s Championships, the first Canadian national women’s football tournament. Heading into the 2013 Worlds at Vantaa, Finland, it brought great pride for Daley to see her Storm sisters donning the Canadian jersey once again,

“I was extremely proud to have had the chance to watch my Storm teammates earn a medal, as well as my Team Atlantic and 2010 TC teammates earn silver medals. They all put in a lot of hard work and dedication to get to that level and for that I am proud to call them all my teammates.”

As the 2013 edition of Team Canada brought with it many new faces, a blend of raw excitement and nervous energy comprised some of the earliest moments of the event. In getting the opportunity to represent one’s country, the anticipation was understandable. With Daley having had the experience of playing on the international stage, her patience and kindness were greatly valued by the newer players, whose guidance she graciously provided.

“The players asked for advice and also what it was like 3 years ago. The advice that I gave to each of them was to live in the moment and take it all in, and I know that each of them did just that.”

While the opportunity to be part of the inaugural IFAF Women’s Worlds felt like yesterday, it was an experience that provided Daley with a lifetime of memories. Just like the women who first competed in hockey for Canada at the 1990 IIHF Women’s Worlds, Daley is part of a group of remarkable and amazing women who broke ground, adding a new dimension to women’s sport in Canada.

“When I played for TC in 2010 it was my first year playing tackle football. I remember when I received the call telling me that I was selected like it was yesterday… it was surreal. To have been picked to represent my country and don our nations’ colours was an honour and phenomenal experience. I am proud to have played on the first ever Canadian Women’s National Tackle Football team and out of this experience I gained 44 sisters.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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