New generation

Henderson part of the new generation of feminine football heroes

Competing with the storied Edmonton Storm franchise in the Western Women’s Canadian Football League, Tanya Henderson is part of the new generation of female football. After a strong 2013 campaign that saw her gain the club’s Most Improved Player Award, she is ready to tackle a bigger role.

The pride of Forestburg, Alberta, Henderson comes from a sporting background that has resulted in tremendous success. When the opportunity to participate in football was present, she took to it with the vigour and enthusiasm that makes her such an accomplished athlete.

“I have always been a very active person. I was a competitive dancer for 16 years and played every sport I had the opportunity to play. Soccer, volleyball, track and field, but my biggest focus in high school was basketball. I finished my grade 12 year as a captain on a provincially ranked team. Sports and exercise were always a necessary part of my life. It got me through the thick and thin.”

The introduction to football came through a chance encounter. While it was a sport that Henderson had never competed in, it would prove to be a positive life changing experience. From the essence of teamwork to the work ethic required, it provided a different perspective on athletic competition.

“Shortly after starting my career as a personal trainer I came across a client, now teammate, who said I should come and play. So I did and I fell in love. I had always been interested in football but had never had the opportunity to play. I also had no idea how much different it was than other sports.

The teamwork and passion football requires is unparalleled to any other sport. Football has helped me deal with a lot of personal hardships as well as bringing me new opportunities and skills.”

As women’s football in Canada continues to experience unprecedented growth, Henderson is excited to be a part of its future. Armed with ambition and remarkable confidence, she is ready to help write the next glorious chapter in Storm history. In discussing the highlight of her WWCFL career, her positive outlook on the future emanates,

“My highlight has not happened yet. I have only been with the league and played for one year, but I know there are many years to come. I know I have the ability to be a great player, a standout; I have the athletic ability, just need to gain the experience which can only be gained through game play. However if I was to choose a highlight of my single year, it would be winning Most Improved Player in our 2013 season.”

With the injection of youth that has redefined the Storm, a new group of remarkable women will have to take on a leadership role. Keenly willing to approach such a role with maturity, Henderson has the drive and determination to follow in the footsteps of those who came before while showing an eagerness to learn.

“I definitely see myself as a leader on this team in the near future. I am a leader by nature and plan on taking that role once I gain a little more experience. I have taken it upon myself this season to try and help grow our team and the league as a whole. It can make us even more well known, which in turn will give us bigger and better opportunities.”

While it was a surprise that not one member of the Edmonton Storm was part of the Canadian contingent that competed at the 2013 IFAF Women’s Worlds in Vantaa, Finland, it would come as no surprise if Henderson donned the Canadian jersey at the next edition of the Worlds in 2017. Her potential is great and the chance to help the Storm return to the championship picture provides her with the opportunity to become a building block for the future of the franchise.

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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