A high school football player in Regina has become the first female player to be selected for the Regina Minor Football (RMF) spring league.
Jayda Duval, a 16-year-old student at Balfour Collegiate, is the first female to play for the team in the league’s 11-year history.
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“I hope that people will begin to understand that girls can do stuff that guys can do too,” Duval explained.
The developmental league had more than 240 high school players tryout, but just over 170 of them made the cut.
“We’re trying to provide opportunities for as many kids to learn and play the game of tackle football and that includes female,” RMF president Kelly Hamilton said.
“When I got the email saying I made the team, I was shocked,” Duval said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
In 2018, Duval was also picked as a wide receiver for her high school football team – the Balfour Bears.
“Jayda is an intense athlete no matter what form she’s playing in,” said Claire Doré, the running backs and special teams coach for the Bears.
Duval said at first the other players didn’t realize she was actually on the team.
“As long as I tried my hardest then they respected me,” Duval said. “I did everything they did and I hustled as much as they did.”
While she’s happy to be levelling the playing field, Duval is adamant that her gender isn’t calling the shots.
“Playing football is better than anything no matter what gender or team you’re on,” Duval said. “It shouldn’t matter what gender you are.”
“Jayda doesn’t want to be noted in spring league as ‘the girl who plays football’ but as an athlete who plays football,” Doré said.
The spring league runs until the end of May.
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