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Alright girls, swap out those loose weaves for tight braids and those chokers for mouth guards because you’ve been recruited for PowderPuff 2017.  For those who don’t know, PowderPuff is one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year that encourages young women to step out of their comfort zone and on to the field. Fun fact: the term “PowderPuff” originates from the soft material used for the application of cosmetic face powder. PowderPuff is flag football that first originated in the States during the 1930s but has made its way to Canadian universities.  Usually football is a male dominated sport. However, PowderPuff allows women to get in on the action. Alexandria and I have been playing PowderPuff throughout our university careers and have compiled a list of the six reasons why we keep on coming back, what we’ve learned, and why we think you should join!

Photo courtesy of Kha Vo,  Kha Vo Photography

1. Understanding the Sport: Football 101

No need to fear, the boys are here! The majority of the coaches for these teams are either current or previous football players, or athletes with just as much passion for the sport. They help us understand the fundamentals of football and break down the skills of the trade. Let’s face it, if you are new to sports, or even football in general, we may catch you running to the nearest Chapters to get the latest edition of Football for Dummies.Being part of the program will not only solve all those questions that you have ever asked yourself at all those Super Bowl parties you were dragged too, but it will bring out your inner Odel Beckham Jr. when you catch that Hail Mary tie breaker for your team.

Photo courtesy of Kha Vo,  Kha Vo Photography

2. Slow and Study Wins the Race

Patience is key in the world of PowderPuff. Coming in as a non-athlete who has never played a single sport in their lives, it’ll take time to develop your skills and get a handle on what you’re doing. Heck, we still get confused about certain terms and drills and we’ve been playing for 3-4 years. As long as you’re willing to put in the time to learn, you’ll shine on the field when you finally get your chance! Remember, just because you’re not technically an athlete doesn’t mean PowderPuff isn’t for you!

Photo courtesy of Kha Vo,  Kha Vo Photography

3. Communication: Remember, Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Communication is the key in every situation that we face in life and football is no exception. Communication is the key to winning.  Being able to effectively express your ideas and ensure your teammates understand the plan will ensure your goals are reached. Whether you are extremely extroverted or coy and timid, communication can break awkward silences and put another W on the board for your team.

Photo courtesy of Kha Vo,  Kha Vo Photography

4. Stepping into the Locker Room

Although the PowderPuff season runs from January to mid-February, you kind of get a taste for what it’s like being a student athlete in university. Practices are usually 2-3 times a week, so juggling that with schoolwork really does test your time management skills. Even before the season starts, teams are gearing up for the season by recruiting any potential females that would like to join. Everyone is welcome no matter what you bring to the table, as long as you come with a positive attitude and are ready to put in the work!

Photo courtesy of Kha Vo,  Kha Vo Photography

5. Work Hard, Play Harder.

With PowderPuff being an all-female environment, a lot of people underestimate what these girls are capable of. Bloody noses, black eyes, and even broken bones – the stakes are high and the competition is tough. Off the field these girls can dress up to the nines but when they step onto the field, things heat up. The confidence that PowderPuff has given us is motivating and powerful. Although not all of us came in as varsity athletes, PowderPuff embodies the very essence of female empowerment, as girls start to gain confidence in themselves as a person and as a player. Big S/O to the coaches that push us everyday to step out of our shells and be better!

Photo courtesy of Kha Vo,  Kha Vo Photography

6. Friendship and the Family bond: Roll Call! Where y’all From?!

Overall, the long and gruelling practices, the blood, sweats, and tears…it’s totally worth it. Win or lose you are a part of a community, and most importantly, a family. You’ve developed a strong bond with 30+ who will always be there for you.  From the iconic lyrics from Sister Sledge “We are family, I got all Sista’s with me.” So with that, everybody get up, go long, and get that TD!

Photo courtesy of Kha Vo,  Kha Vo Photography

Starting on February 10th and going until February 11th, Laurier is playing host to the 2017 PowderPuff Invitational tournament where universities from across Ontario will be battling it out. Come check out the action at University Stadium. If you won’t be able to see the action first hand, stay ready for uploads from the official PowderPuff photographer, Kha Vo.  Get ready to trade in those high heels for a pair of cleats, Collegiettes! We hope to see you on the field next year. xo

Wilfrid Laurier University Alumna - BA Honours History & Minor in Sociology and Religion and Culture. York University B.Ed. Her Campus York U Campus Correspondent/ HSA Advisor/ Chapter Advisor.  When I'm not leading the team, advising, or writing you'll find me watching any and every reality T.V show or re-runs of Friends and Gilmore Girls. Semi-classy wine lady who thinks pineapple on pizza is a crime.
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Bria Akomah

Wilfrid Laurier

Social Media Handles: Instagram: @_brieriako Twitter: @_brieriako
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