Gomes looks to strong season after sensational Women’s World Football Games

After a breakthrough 2015 season that saw the Calgary Rage qualify for the WWCFL’s Western Conference championship game, optimism is high heading into 2016. Among the Rage’s gridiron heroes is running back Lisa Gomes.

As one of the Rage’s veteran leaders, she has already made a statement, participating in a significant event for the female gridiron game. Of note, she had the opportunity to enhance her game and experience growth as a player and more importantly as a leader.

Attending the third annual Women’s World Football Games, it may prove to be a game changer, one of the most positive experiences in her playing career. Despite the fact that there were less than a dozen women in attendance, the pride of donning the Maple Leaf on their helmets for the Games instantly translated into a mutual respect, as a strong sisterhood graced the gridiron,

“There were about 8 Canadian women who had attended and I only knew about 2 faces. It was definitely fun meeting the other Canadian women as well. We are already planning a road trip to visit everyone!”

With this year’s Games being held in New Orleans, Louisiana, it was an opportunity to not only visit one of the most prominent regions in the United States for football, it was an opportunity to soak in a true professional atmosphere.

All attending individuals at the Games were treated to an exceptional experience. Hosted at the practice facilities of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, it was the chance to be part of an empowering experience. Players not only stood on the same playing surface that the Saints utilize in practice, they even had the privilege of utilizing the same film rooms and eating facilities.

While Gomes has been a supporter of her local team, the CFL’s Stampeders, many seasons were also spent with the Saints as her favorite NFL team, only adding to the jubilation of such an unforgettable event.

“First off, I am a New Orleans Saints fan so that was part of my reasoning for going. It was almost like fate for me to attend. The facility was amazing! Everywhere you went in that place, you were inspired by a quote or a picture. The staff was great too!”

The overall experience just added a major league feeling. Gomes reflected on the fact that her favorite moment at the event involved an element of levity yet encouragement, as players would clap and then yell out ‘Whoooo’, in tribute to a former calling card of a wrestling champion, when a play was executed properly, “Give me 2 claps and a Ric Flair!”

Perhaps more important, the Games and the chance to be at an NFL facility was a confidence builder. Not only did such an event strengthen the self-esteem of the female game as a whole, by sending a message that football is for all to enjoy, the chance to do so in a big league environment resulted in a newfound sense of acceptance.

In reflecting on the experience of the Games, it went beyond just skill development for Gomes. She obtained a much more profound meaning of the game, encompassed by a strong maturity. While she holds the potential to become a centerpiece for the Rage’s offensive attack, Gomes enters the 2016 season with an enhanced knowledge, thanks in part to the Games. In discussing the elements that she believes may help make her a better player season, there is no question that it is destined to set a positive example for the squad’s rookies, which would contribute to a great sense of victory.

“The Games was a life changing experience. I learnt a lot about teamwork, how to be supportive of my teammates and how to understand constructive criticism. The coaching of “ball security” had a huge impact on me while the coaching staff had undeniably taught me the meaning of leadership.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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