Football Canada has unveiled plans for the first ever National Women’s Football Weekend, set to take place May 5 to May 8 in Ottawa.
Hosted at Carleton University the event is designed as a showcase for the growth of the women’s game in Canada, bringing together talented athletes competing in the sport across different levels and disciplines.
“Football Canada has been committed to building women’s football at the national and international level for over a dozen years,” Football Canada president Jim Mullin said in a statement. “This showcase to kickoff the season is the next logical step for the women’s game.”
The highlights of the weekend include the inaugural National Collegiate Flag Football Championship as well as the Women’s National Team Identification Camps, culminating in a Red-White Game and the selection of the Senior Women’s National Tackle Team.
The National Collegiate Flag Football Championship will host ten women’s teams — three from Ontario, three from Saskatchewan, two from Quebec, and one each from Manitoba and Nova Scotia — all competing for a national title on behalf of their universities.
The National Women’s Weekend will finish off with the Team Canada Senior Womens Red-White Game on Sunday. The scrimmage will be the first time in history that a Football Canada competition will be officiated by a crew of officials made up entirely of Canadian women.
In conjunction with the Football Canada event, Football Ontario will be putting on an Identification Camp on May 8. This camp, along with others across the province, will lead to the selection of the U18 Women’s Tackle provincial team.
The weekend will mark several key firsts in the history of women’s football in Canada, but the organization intends for it to be a launch point for bigger things.
“The National Women’s Football Weekend is an example of how far women and girls programming has come within Canada,” explained Shannon Donovan, Executive Director of Football Canada.
“The inaugural Canadian Flag Football Collegiate Championship is another step growing the women’s game and the sport being recognized as an official collegiate sport. Football Ontario hosting their U18 ID camp in preparation for the first ever Women’s Under 18 National Tackle Championship is a demonstration of the growth in the country in female tackle since the first Women’s World Championship in 2010.”
The Canadian women’s team are three-time World Championship silver medalists. The team selected at National Women’s Football Weekend will aim for gold at the 2022 event July 28 to August 8 in Finland.
Football Canada will unveil more information around timing of the events in the coming weeks.