In the shadows of a sold-out Homecoming game in a brand-new arena, the Queen’s Women’s Football Club (QWFB) is no stranger to playing on Nixon and Tindall Fields in front of crowds of less than 100 people.
In the second installment of the Women’s Sports into the Spotlight series, The Journal spoke with Women’s Football Club President Megan Jones, ArtSci ’22, through email correspondence.
First sanctioned by Queen’s Athletics and Recreation (A&R) in 2020, the QWFB has grown to be a massive club within the Queen’s community. With over 1,100 followers on Instagram, the club has proven to be a space for women to enjoy each other’s company while pushing the boundaries of sport.
“Team sports allow for a sense of belonging and home when away at schools and QWFB truly fosters that,” Jones said.
QWFB is a part of the Ontario Women’s Intercollegiate Football Association (OWIFA). According to their website, the association aims to provide women with flag football experience that’s competitive, diverse and inclusive while working towards creating equal opportunities for women in the world of collegiate football.
While women have long advocated for the same athletic opportunities as their male counterparts, it seems unlikely they’d find it through football.
The Queen’s Men’s Football team has been a large part of the Gaels’ identity for many years. The University and donors alike have long funded the Men’s Football team and its facilities, with a $10 million donation funding the new Lang Pavillion this year. The women’s team doesn’t play in Richardson Stadium, except for a final game between the club’s multiple teams.
For men with the talent and desire for professional football, there’s the NFL, where top players’ salaries can reach $50 million per year. There’s also the CFL, where the minimum annual salary for a player is $70,000. Women, on the other hand, are restricted to the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA), which is a non-for-profit organization.
Though the women’s team isn’t looking to compete with the Men’s team, they hope to partner with them to foster these opportunities and be taken seriously.
“I am not sure if we are not taken as seriously due to being a women led sport or as we are only a recreational club, however we want to work to become an equal partner to other universities and the men’s team as the sport progresses,” Jones said.
The women’s team has already shown that they’re a hot club on campus, and hosts multiple teams with full rosters.
The community within QWFB is something that Jones and her teammates are continuing to grow. Jones believes this sport allows women to shine whether that be through furthering their flag football experience or just beginning. The club offers the opportunity forwomen to be a part of something big.
As the team continues work to maintain their status with A&R, they hope to further promote opportunities for women in sports by opening doors for women who might not otherwise see themselves as athletes.
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