Women’s football Xploding in Atlantic Canada

March 27th 2019 (Halifax, NS) – Football has a rich history in the Eastern part of Canada. Despite the size difference, Atlantic Canadian football has often held their own vs Central or Western Canada.  With the possibility of a CFL franchise kicking off soon, that trend will continue. Many think a professional football team will help bring improvements to all levels of football; from minor to high school, all the way to the university level. But what about women’s football?  There has been an incredible trend recently of women becoming more and more involved with football at all levels.  The shift has shown more female coaches, trainers, even in executive management.

But women PLAYING football in Atlantic Canada is not new either.  The Maritime Women’s Football League (MWFL), now entering its 16th season, was the first all-female full-contact competitive football league in Canada. The Halifax Xplosion are happy to have been part of that league for 13 years. They have steadily continued to empower more NS women to try football every year. This mantra of ‘continuous improvement’ showed them come up just shy of their first ever MWFL Championship last year. But this year, the expectations are still even higher; as their goal is not just to compete for a birth in the big game again, but to continue to promote football to women in Atlantic Canada and beyond. After this season, the women prepare to try out to play in Nationals in 2020, and Worlds in 2021.

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Natasha McMaster has seen this emergence first hand, playing her first game with the team 10 years ago. The offensive lineman has seen the team come from humble beginnings to a contender since then. “It’s amazing to see the progression not just of the team, but also of the number of women involved, and each of their individual progression as football players.  We have so many inspiring people on this squad.”  When not playing Offensive Tackle, Tash is a radiation therapist, a wife and a mom to 2 kids. She also volunteers as part of the Xplosion’s (and the league’s) executive, and coaches Bantam football – an age where female youth players most often drop out.  Balance is difficult, but worth it.

The Halifax Xplosion are always looking for more players. Because of the large roster size, and different positions required to play, football literally can be a sport for everyone.  All body types and fitness levels can participate and thrive in this dynamic sport.  “The Xplosion provide an opportunity for women to play as part of an incredible group or supportive teammates, in a diverse and inclusive environment. I hope to play for many more years!”  says Natasha.

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About the MWFL
The MWFL’s season officially kicks off on May 4th this year, and culminates with the 2019 Championships, being held on June 22nd in Halifax.  The league is comprised of 5 teams, 1 from Nova Scotia, 3 from New Brunswick (Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton), and a PEI team in their first year as an expansion team.

Anyone interested in playing, coaching, volunteering or sponsoring the Halifax Xplosion can reach the team at https://www.facebook.com/xplosionfootball/ or xplosionfootball@gmail.com

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