Sole Sisters experience great for Killam and Xplosion

In a landmark season for the Halifax Xplosion, the highlight of a Friendship Bowl triumph and a winning season were complemented by the contributions of some remarkable new faces on and off the field. First-year player Kristie Killam was among this remarkable group, helping to provide a fresh perspective.

One unique aspect that defined Killam’s first season was the strong leadership she displayed in the Sole Sisters event. Able to get several players to volunteer their time following a home game against the Saint John Storm, it was testament to the player’s dedication concerning such an important event.

“You would think that after being two hours in the cold rain, playing a hard team, getting banged up and drawn out, suffering injuries, that the idea of going clear across the city to hand out medals was the last thing any one of us wanted to do…you would be wrong.

The team gathered up quickly after the game, not really getting out of gear, piling up in our cars and hauled ourselves to the finish line with a little time to spare before the first runners crossed the line.”

With over 3,000 women competing in the 5K race, part of the objective of Sole Sisters is to help girls and women gain the confidence to be comfortable with including physical exercise as part of their daily lives. With wide streets and good pavement, Wilkinson Avenue, Jennett Avenue and Burbidge Avenue were the streets that consisted of 5K race.

Led by race director Stacy Chesnutt, there is no timing in this race. The objective is to create a positive and safe atmosphere where the accomplishment contributes to a strong sense of pride, making everyone feel victorious. In reflecting on how Killam got involved with Sole Sisters, there was definitely a feeling of mutual inspiration,

“My work as a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) has allowed me to see a lot of people over the years who are active with diffrent types of sports and running. One such friend, Stacey, contacted me after seeing an awesome black and white photo of me in my football gear at a game, taken by our team photographer, Jason Quackenbush.

Photo credit: Jason Quackenbush

Photo credit: Jason Quackenbush

Stacey is the force of nature / race director behind Sole Sisters, Lucky 7 Relay Race and head coach/ founder of Girls Gone Gazelle, running is what she does. Sole Sisters is about women empowering women to run and be your best, period. It embraces and motivates and celebrates effort not so much sizes or numbers.”

Although it was a cold and rainy day, it could not dampen the bright enthusiasm and feelings of warm support that defined such an amazing time. Adding to the magic of such an event was the hug stations located near the finish line.

In addition to Xplosion players handing out participatory medals and providing hugs, they were joined by the firemen of Lady Hammond Road Fire Station in such a kind show of compassionate support. Killam found great inspiration in the fact that her fellow Xplosion teammates were ready to loan their support,

“Stacey contacted me and outright asked me if my team if we would want to hand out medals to the runners; in years past she has had a lot of support from men’s teams and firefighters and so on, but never a women’s team, let alone an all-women’s football team!

So I asked the team, described what it (Sole Sisters) was about and everyone was on board with it. The whole team loved it, over half the team could commit including two of our coaches as well! The only hangup was it was on the same day as our game against St. John and that day turned out to be a downpour.”

The success of such an event has expanded to include the addition of a Lil’ Sisters 3K race and a Sole Sisters Quarter (10.5K) and Half (21K) Marathon to the already existing 5K race in June 2016.

“We were cold, they were cold, we were wet, them to, our feet hurt, theirs were throbbing. To be able to look these women in their proud and accomplished faces and to present to them their medal, in some cases this was the first ever 5 km run, (in a few cases I’m sure the woman was told she would never be able to do it) to show them our support and to be proud with them in that moment was worth the two plus hours in the rain.

It was worth the aches and pain and bruises and strains, we got to share in each others strength and glory, it was amazing. To be a part of that, to be with my team in that I will proudly remember for a long time to come. 3,2,1, eXplode!”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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