As the Regina Riot hope to capture their first championship in the Western Women’s Canadian Football League, six members of their squad have another prize to chase at season’s end. With the 2013 IFAF Women’s World Championships being held after the WWCFL season, a gold medal is the objective.
The Regina Riot are proud to have six of their competitors named to the Canadian National Team. Headlining the offense is quarterback Aimee Kowalski, running back Mallory Starkey and wide receiver Claire Dore. Selections anchoring the defense include linebacker Ciara Bray, defensive lineman Becky Wallis and defensive back Adrienne Zuck
With Saskatchewan being the hub of women’s tackle football in Canada, Regina native (and Riot linebacker) Ciara Bray will be proudly representing her home province. Being selected to the Canadian contingent came as a surprise to Bray.
“Honestly, I was really surprised to be named to the National Football Team. There is a lot of competition across this country (many of the best players come right from Saskatchewan) and I guess I underestimated my own ability as a football player. It means a lot to me to be able to play a sport I love at the International level. It's such an honor to represent Canada ... I can't express how excited I am!!”
With five of her teammates from the Riot being named to the National Team, it is a great point of pride for Bray. Like many of her counterparts in the WWCFL, teammates are also friends.
“It is amazing to have several teammates; girls I love and have close relationships with, share in this experience with me. I have played on several different teams in my lifetime but I have never felt such a sense of cohesiveness as I do with the Riot. I am so proud of all my Riot girls!”
As one of two quarterbacks named to the roster, Aimee Kowalski is looking to stake her claim among the elites in the game. She hopes being able to play on the National Team with two of her Regina teammates from offense (Claire Dore and Mallory Starkey) will build stronger bonds.
“I think this opportunity is going to help all three of us grow together even more. We are all very different people and offer something totally different to the team. Claire is a very knowledgeable and experienced athlete, so it's nice to have her there with me to keep me rolling in the right direction. Mallory is a very dependable player with the most or close to the most football experience in the whole tournament. Her suggestions and the things she sees on the field do not go unnoticed.”
As someone who has represented her country at Handball, Dore was honored to be named to the Canadian roster. Her experience at the international level will provide a strong presence on a national team looking for gold.
“When I was announced to Team Canada, it was an honor. This has been a very different process than selection to Team Canada for Team Handball, and it is in particular special that I will be able to share this with my teammates from the Riot and Team Saskatchewan. Any opportunity to represent Canada is extraordinary, and fills me with pride and the desire to make the football community here, and across the country proud.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”