Local impact

MWFL president gives back to community with launch of female flag football

In an effort to help grow the sport of female football, an initiative by Football New Brunswick (FNB) is poised to bring about positive change. Programs in girls’ flag football at the Under-16 and Under-18 level in the province shall be launched in 2014. The initiative shall be complemented by the introduction of Provincial teams at both levels.

With the effort of MWFL President Cheryl O’Leary and commitment by FNB President Lisa Harlow (who served as MWFL Commissioner in 2013), the programs shall kick off in the spring. The areas of Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton will see competition in April and May. It is testament to O’Leary’s efforts to give back to the community and help the female game grow.

Although it is a new program, the commitment on the part of individuals like O’Leary and Harlow are vital to success. Harlow competed with the national team at the inaugural IFAF Women’s Worlds in 2010. In addition, she has coached at various junior levels, with several of her players having qualified for play in the MWFL.

Similar to Harlow, O’Leary has been involved in playing, coaching and administrative duties. During the 2013 IFAF Women’s Worlds, she was a mentor coach on the special teams. She brings remarkable credibility to this new initiative.

As the league launches, focus shall be on player development. In addition, a key element in the league is fun. With female football still growing across Canada, the chance to participate in the sport also brings with it an opportunity to make new friends.

Regular seasons will consist of two indoor practices along with one game per week in rotating locations. After the season culminates, early June shall see FNB undertake the process of gathering the players required to comprise one U16 and one U18 Provincial Team.

Considering the National Flag Championships (held by Football Canada) are being held in Prince Edward Island, it is an opportunity for Atlantic pride to shine. Whomever these young women are that earn the privilege to represent New Brunswick shall take pride in knowing that they are being guided by women like O’Leary, that have helped break ground in female football.

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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