Regina’s ambassador

Bray proud to represent Regina at IFAF Women’s Worlds

From the WWCFL’s Regina Riot to the IFAF Women’s Worlds in Vantaa, Finland, Ciara Bray is one of Canada’s feminine football heroes. Competing at the linebacker position for the Canadian contingent, she ranked tenth on the squad in total tackles.

Donning number 33, the opportunity to grace the gridiron in Finland was the culmination of many months of hard work and sacrifice. Like many of her Canadian teammates, their first game at the IFAF Worlds, a contest against a squad from Spain making their IFAF debut, brought with it feelings of elation and excitement.

“The first time I stepped on the field for our game against Spain I was extremely nervous and excited to finally play after months of preparing at home and spending the previous week in training camp. It is hard for me to describe how proud I was to represent my country.”

Being able to compete on the world’s biggest stage internationally signified a landmark event in Bray’s proud career.  In discussing which moment stood out as the most memorable, it would prove to be a consolidation of several,

“I have been thinking about this question and there really is not one moment that stood out as the most memorable because I really feel that the entire experience was the most memorable. I met so many amazing men and women, learned so much about football and pushed myself harder than I ever have. Everything was memorable.

As a member of Team Saskatchewan at the historic 2012 Canadian National Championships in Laval, Quebec, it provided Bray with her first exposure to their caliber of play from the Maritime Women’s Football League’s finest. At the 2013 Women’s Worlds, she would have the opportunity to line up beside several of them on defense. Having been able to call the competitors of the MWFL as teammates for the first time, it proved to be a rewarding encounter.

“I loved playing with all the different players from across the country. I honestly did not know much about the MWFL before meeting the Team Canada players that represented the league. I have so much respect for my MWFL teammates … It was an honour to play with such amazing athletes who are beautiful women, inside and out.

While donning the Canada jersey has provided Bray with a greater appreciation for a game and many new friends, the experience was enriched by the presence of her teammates from the Regina Riot. Including the likes of Claire Dore, Aimee Kowalski, Adrienne Zuck, Mallory Starkey, Emma Hicks and Becky Wallis, all seven contributed to the  jubilation of the Riot claiming its first division title during the 2013 WWCFL regular season. With such strong momentum, the end result for Bray and her teammates at Finland was a finish on the medal podium, earning a silver medal.

“I am not a shy person but I have to admit that having some of my Riot teammates/friends share in the experience with me made it a lot easier. As much as I enjoyed the experience, it was also one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am so grateful to have had my Riot girls there for support and I am so proud of Becky, Adrienne, Aimee, Claire, Mallory and Ema!!”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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