Shot’s banner year

Banner year for Maritime football hero Chatterton 

Part of the new generation of female stars, Kristin (Shot) Chatterton is proud to call football her sport of choice. One of the cornerstones for the Capital Area Lady Gladiators in the Maritime Women’s Football League, her stellar play earned her the opportunity to wear her country’s colours.

As a member of the Canadian contingent that competed at the 2013 IFAF Women’s World Football Championships in Vantaa, Finland, Chatterton proudly represented the MWFL, her club team and her Maritime community. Competing at the linebacker position, she participated in every contest at the Women’s Worlds.

Like many of her teammates, the defining moment of the event was the semi-final contest versus the host country, Finland. Facing a 12-6 deficit at halftime, it was a setback that could have led towards the downward spiral of an upset or the jubilation of a character event. At halftime, Chatterton believed that the latter would result.

“Absolutely! I feel we all went into that game playing as strong individuals. Once we hit the dressing room at halftime, the feeling in the room changed. We did not just want the win for ourselves but for each other. In the short time we had together I feel that was our team bonding moment.”

While Chatterton was proud to be representing her league, it also led to an unprecedented event in the history of the national team. It marked the first time that women from the Western Women’s Canadian Football League (the league did not exist during the first IFAF Worlds in 2010) and the MWFL would call each other teammates.

Chatterton had a degree of familiarity with the WWCFL as she competed with Team Atlantic at the 2012 Canadian National Championships. The stars of the WWCFL comprised the rosters for Team Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Having the opportunity to call them teammates provided Chatterton with an appreciation of their game.

“Playing with the player from the other side of the country was humbling. They play with all their heart!”

Competing in Finland will certainly provide Chatterton with a lifetime of memorable moments. It is a unique event which celebrates the women’s game on a global level with national pride shines through for all involved. In discussing which moment was her favourite, she replied,

“I cannot just give you one great moment but two. The two that stand out to me would be: 1) Pauline Olynik singing our national anthem and 2) making it to the gold medal game. We all worked so hard to get there.”

After finishing on the medal podium in Finland, Chatterton’s season continued at home. As the MWFL was celebrating its landmark tenth anniversary season, the regular season was still in progress. With jockeying for postseason spots and rankings in full swing, the Capital Area Lady Gladiators were glad to welcome back all four women who represented their franchise in Finland, Chatterton, Alex Black, Robyn Neill and Cheryl O’Leary.

Their return was essential to a franchise that had previously suffered a loss to the winless Halifax Xplosion. With pressure mounting from the Moncton Vipers and Saint John Storm, the presence of Chatterton and her teammates yielded remarkable results. A strong run resulted in a fantastic finish as the Lady Glads captured the MWFL championship. To be able to win an MWFL title along with an IFAF silver medal brought with it tremendous meaning for Chatterton,

“It was almost surreal. Our team all season seemed to be struggling to keep our heads above water. To be third in the league and to come out on top was an amazing accomplishment for all the Lady Glads. It just goes to show to never give up.”

Sharing the MWFL title with her fellow Team Canada mates (Black, Neill and O’Leary) made the prestige of emerging as league champions much more special.

“These three women I traveled the world with are amazing individuals on and off the field. I see them as a part of my family. To be able to share not only a silver medal on the international stage but a gold at home was surreal. Our football season ending up being a Cinderella story.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

Photo credit: Jenn DeGuise, Chatterton (left) with Annie Arpin after the gold medal game of the IFAF Women’s Worlds

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