New surroundings

O’Leary brings wealth of experience to CCWFL

As the Central Canadian Women’s Football League continues to put the pieces in place towards its inaugural season, a key move involved a pioneer of women’s football in Atlantic Canada. Cheryl O’Leary, whose experience ranges from player and coach to administrator and executive becomes the newest member of the CCWFL family.

Joining the new league as its Vice-President of Operations, O’Leary brings a remarkable wealth of knowledge to the position. Considering that the province of Ontario has the potential to become a key hub for the development of the Canadian female game in the near future, the leadership of individuals such as O’Leary will be crucial.

“I have recently moved to Barrie, Ontario and I am very excited to be working with the CCWFL as the VP of Operations. There is tremendous support for the development of a women’s football league and I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to help women’s football grow in another province.”

Having made her mark in the province of New Brunswick, O’Leary’s first exposure to football came in a volunteer capacity in her son’s league. Eventually, O’Leary would take to the gridiron herself. Competing with the Capital Area (Fredericton) Lady Gladiators in the Maritime Women’s Football League, she would help the club capture the Judy Upward Trophy in 2013.

Of note, 2013 would prove to be a milestone year in O’Leary’s football career. Not only was she elected President of the MWFL, she was also part of the mentor-coach program with the Canadian national team. Traveling to Vantaa, Finland as part of the Canadian contingent that captured the silver medal as the IFAF Women’s Worlds, she worked under special teams coach Olivier Eddie.

“The knowledge that I have gained, and the experiences that I have had with the MWFL in the Eastern Provinces will be invaluable in helping the CCWFL grow. Developing, programming and administration are areas that I excel in. I am also looking forward to coaching, and further developing my coaching skills.”

Possessing great acumen, O’Leary symbolizes the pioneering spirit of the female game. Her work as a coach and administrator certainly represent the next great opportunity for women in football. As important as the recruitment and development of talent may be, the development of women in positions such as coaching and management is a key aspect in helping female football shape its destiny and direction.

“We have decided that our league will be a Spring league, following other leagues across Canada. One of my goals is to begin training camps early in 2015, and have four teams ready to start playing against each other in April. I would like to see the league to expand to other areas with another four teams on board for the 2016 season.

Looking ahead I would like to see female football grow to include 2 divisions with several areas included from across Ontario. We are working hard recruiting players, volunteers and coaches and will be at the National Women’s Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre November 7-9, 2014.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

Leave a Reply