Patricia Eko-Davis Helping to Turn Winnipeg into a Football Hotbed

Mark Staffieri@@MarkStaff100Contributor IIMay 31, 2013

Image obtained from Football Canada
Image obtained from Football Canada

As one of the members of the WWCFL’s Manitoba Fearless, Patricia Eko-Davis is eager to provide her team with an opportunity to win. The interest in football was courtesy of a clinic run by her local Canadian Football League franchise.

“The day I decided to partake in a women's clinic that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers put on called Pigskin Plus.  I had so much fun that I inquire information about touch football from one of the booths that was set up at the clinic, from that point my interest grew.” 

“When I heard that a tackle football team was formed in 2008, I decided to try it out in 2009 and stuck with it ever since. Now I play tackle in the spring, touch in the summer, flag in the fall and indoor co-ed in the winter.”

She competed with Team Manitoba at the 2012 National Challenge Cup in Laval, Quebec. Competing with her on the squad included Fearless teammates such as Darla Caliguiri and Myleen Spence. Many members of the provincial team also featured players from the Fearless’ rival, Winnipeg Nomads Wolf Pack.

“The experience is like no other. Bringing two teams together to do what we do best and that is playing football.  It gave me a sense of pride being choosing to represent Manitoba and I hope to have more years to come.” 

From the National Challenge Cup, spots for Canada’s roster at the 2013 Women’s World Football Championships were decided. Having played for Canada at the inaugural 2010 Women’s Worlds, she was hoping for a repeat appearance.

Although she was named to the reserve roster, Eko-Davis approached it with great maturity and acumen. Still proud of the honor, she is motivated to keep playing her best football. With the possibility of injuries, Eko-Davis may be an emergency call-up.

“Being on the reserve roster was a big accomplishment.  I made it further than some others and to me that is something to be proud of.  I went out and gave it my all, but I fell short.  Life moves on and I am proud of the ladies that made the team, reserve roster along with everyone who tried out. We cannot give up on our dreams just because we hit a bump in the road. We need to learn from it and get stronger.”

A great point of pride for Eko-Davis was to see two of her teammates from the Manitoba Fearless, Pauline Olynik and Lisa Klaverkamp, named to the National Team. While both are over 30, they bring a remarkable, youthful enthusiasm to the game.

“I am so proud of Lisa and Pauline! They are exceptional players. I have being playing with Pauline for the last 4 years and Lisa for the past 5 years. This is their time to shine on the world stage and put Winnipeg ladies football on the map. I had my time to shine in 2010, now it is time to pass the torch.  Each player is unique in their own way. Their knowledge of the game and skills they showcased at identification camps help them stand out from the rest. The coaches chose them to represent Canada.” 

As the Manitoba Fearless fight for a postseason berth, Eko-Davis is the ultimate team player. Proud to compete with the Fearless, the result is more than just the opportunity to play the game—it is the chance to forge lifetime friendships.

“Our season is great! I love the ladies I play with and our team morale is great to be around.  I could not ask for a better set of ladies, coaching staff, trainers, and management personnel to share this 2013 season with. Of course, I cannot forget about our fans that come cheer us on. While a game lasts two to three hours, the friendships we created last a lifetime."

All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated.