CFL unveils nine participants selected for inaugural Women in Football internship program

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The Canadian Football League has unveiled the names of the nine women selected as part of the inaugural cohort of the league’s Women in Football Program.

As part of the program, each of the CFL’s nine member clubs will welcome one woman to join their football operations or business administration departments for a four-week development opportunity coinciding with the start of training camp on May 15.

“We’re thrilled to open our doors to these talented women,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. “I know our teams will create a meaningful and immersive educational experience for our participants. Wherever their careers take them, we hope they reflect on this program with a clear sense of positivity and purpose.”

In addition to the program’s football-centric elements, the progam’s sponsoring partner, KPMG Canada, will offer participants on-going support and mentorship focused on skill-development in business-focused settings.

“Congratulations to the inaugural class of the Women in Football program,” Ruth Todd, regional managing partner of KPMG said. “Mentorship and providing opportunities to women is a key component of our firm’s professional development strategy, and we look forward to working alongside the CFL to support the participants as they explore future careers in sports and business.”

Jessica Szabo, account director, global partnerships, and co-chair of the league office’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee, sees the program as an important stepping stone — not only for its participants and their professional development, but also the CFL.

“We look forward to tracking the progress of the first cohort and learning from the teams’ and participants’ experiences. We’ll continue to work closely with KPMG to explore new ways to deepen the program’s impact to reach and empower more women as we grow the game across the country.”

Among those selected for the program is 3DownNation contributor Amanda Ruller, who will be assisting in the coaching of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The full list of participants:

• Montreal Alouettes: Andréanne Dupont-Parent | Montreal | Football Operations
• Ottawa Redblacks: Meagan Ferguson | Stratford, P.E.I. | Coaching
• Toronto Argonauts: Deidre Donaldson | Brampton, Ont. | Football Operations
• Hamilton Tiger-Cats: Paige Ottaviano | Port Colborne, Ont. | Football Operations
• Winnipeg Blue Bombers: Taylor MacIntyre | Cambridge, Ont. | Coaching
• Saskatchewan Roughriders: Amanda Ruller | Regina | Coaching
• Calgary Stampeders: Tara McNeil | Calgary | Strength and Conditioning
• Edmonton Elks: Elisha Torraville | Calgary | Football Operations
• BC Lions: Olyvia Hoban | Calgary | Equipment Management