Chatham-Kent Cougars Logo (Image courtesy of the Chatham-Kent Cougars)Chatham-Kent Cougars Logo (Image courtesy of the Chatham-Kent Cougars)

CK Cougars say there's definitely interest in all-female tackle football team

Chatham-Kent is a prime location for an all-female tackle football team according to CK Cougars President Selwyn Jordan.

"We have seen the start of Professional Women's leagues happening with hockey and soccer and we see the Olympics adding Flag Football. Tackle football is something that is taking off," Jordan said. He also explained that the strong women's rugby presence at area high schools lends itself to tackle football.

The proposed Women's U19 Tackle Football team in Chatham-Kent would be part of the Ontario Women's Football League (OWFL), which is now in its third year.

The OWFL currently runs a six-versus-six format, which allows for rosters to have a minimum of 12 players.

Jordan is hoping for 15-20 players to register.

"We have had 30 players contact our club to say they are interested," he said. "Very few have experience with tackle football, but many have played rugby so they have contact courage or played flag football and know how to throw and catch and understand the concept.  We have a few that are interested that have played hockey, we would say that hockey shares some elements of the game that is similar to football."

As part of the OWFL, there would be opponents in Ottawa and Montreal, but Jordan assures that any away games would be played within Ontario.

"We will only have to travel to London, Brantford, Niagara Falls, and KW for regular season away games," he explained.

Home games would be played at Chatham Kent Secondary School (CKSS).

Cougars Football would provide almost all equipment required to play including helmets, shoulder pads, padded pants, socks, and even mouth guards. The only thing the player would have to supply themselves is cleats.

"Soccer cleats will work for football," Jordan noted.

Being part of an all-female team allows for like-minded people to gather together and participate in a male-dominated sport without any borders. Jordan believes it also offers multiple opportunities for females to be involved in football in other ways.

"I feel girls that play football can put it on their resume and can, in the future, coach, referee, or even be trainers," he said.

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