Image by Jack Merritt Photography
As a member of the Calgary Rage, defensive back (and linebacker) Connie Fekete brings great enthusiasm to the roster. Competing in the Western Conference of the Western Women’s Canadian Football League, the club lost to the Edmonton Storm in the 2012 postseason.
Fekete is working hard towards bringing the franchise its first ever WWCFL championship. Her interest in football stemmed from her university days, as she would attend men’s varsity games.
“I think it started when I was in university and I watched my first live football games; I was hooked from the first time I heard the sound of bodies crashing into one another!”
The physicality of the game on the gridiron would one day culminate with Fekete having her own opportunity to participate in football. When asked what she liked best about playing the defensive side of the game, she stated, “The contact! I love the feeling of tackling someone to the ground. It's like nothing else.”
Of note, Fekete is more than just a football player, she is also a mother and an educator. Among one of her teaching positions in Calgary, she worked with Clay for Kids. Working with children brought a great reward for the articulate Fekete.
“I have a Bachelor of Education degree and was a regular classroom teacher for a short while before my children were born. I've always enjoyed sharing knowledge with kids, and Clay for Kids allows me to do that in a unique setting. I get to teach pottery to enthusiastic budding artists.”
As one of many mothers competing in the WWCFL, it is a remarkable aspect that makes the league unique. The effort to balance career, family and sport is one that makes the women of the WWCFL very strong and admirable people. Fekete is quick to recognize the person in her life who helps make it possible.
“As much as I joke about him (his nickname is The Phantom, as not many of my friends or teammates have actually met him) Arthur, my husband, is incredibly accommodating when it comes to making the family schedule work so I can play football. I definitely couldn't do it without him.”
The physical aspect has become not just the only fun part of the game to her. In playing with other moms, and working to make the league grow, Fekete also recognizes that there is a special bond that comes from women competing in such a team sport.
“Apart from the hitting? My teammates make playing football more fun than anything I've ever done for myself. There's an incredible bond between women who share a football field. Football is the ultimate team sport; only when each player does her part is the whole team successful. I love being part of that.”
In addition to her playing career, Fekete is also an avid sports fan in Calgary. A proud supporter of the Calgary Roughnecks lacrosse team and the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL, Fekete can be seen in the stands sporting a red wig as a show of support.
When asked if it was a fun experience, Fekete replied, “Fun barely scratches the surface. Despite the unfortunate outcome of the game, the experience was amazing. Grey Cup Festival is somewhat of a "family reunion" for a large group of us CFL fans, many of whom only see each other once a year.
"With 2012 being the 100th anniversary of the championship, it was extra special to be a part of the whole experience.”
After seeing the Stampeders compete in the Grey Cup, Fekete would love nothing more than to experience her own taste of championship glory with the Rage. Fekete believes one key aspect will be crucial for the Rage to have any hope at claiming the coveted championship this year.
“I think communication is key. We have a group of new, young players this year and making sure everyone is clear about expectations and their role on the team will be vital to our success. That, and all the usual sports cliches, of course!”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”