WINDSOR - Football, in most cases, is a boy’s club.
Two teams of 11 or 12 players, trying to get a ball into an end zone, slamming into each other with full force.
Allison Power is pushing down barriers — and the opposing team — at the same time.
At 16, Power is the only female player on the Avon View Avalanche football team.
At first, people were hesitant to the idea, which only made her want to do it more.
“I try to do a new sport each year, and I like rough sports like rugby, so I thought, ‘why not try football?’ I went to one of my friends on the team and said I might try it,” Power said.
“They said I couldn’t play football because I’m a girl, so I’m like – watch me.”
Power said she was interested in football because of the intense physicality, the roughness of the game.
“I talked to some of my friends and they told me when the first practise was going to be, so I showed up,” she said. “The coaches gave me the look, like, ‘is that a girl trying out?’”
This is Power’s first season with the football team, but she’s been active in other sports including rugby and soccer.
“On team sports I get competitive. I’m rough on soccer, but I can get called for that,” she said. “In rugby and football, it’s more encouraged.”
One of her teammates chimed in, saying, “You get to hurt people,” with a laugh.
“I like it, it’s been a good experience, I’m treated like one of them, which is what I wanted,” she said. “Football is rough, but you have the gear to help.”
Power said most of the other sports she’s involved with are either exclusively for girls or are not team based.
Part of the team
“At the beginning of the year, some people were saying I shouldn’t be on the team because I’m a girl, but I’ve proven them wrong,” she said. “I feel that everyone appreciates me on the team now.”
Power is still learning some of the ins and outs of the game, but is hoping to continue with the team in the future.
“My teammates are really helpful and are great at answering any questions I have and my coaches have been supportive as well,” she said.
Connor Caldwell, 14, a wide receiver on the team, said Power brings a lot of spirit and positivity to the team dynamic.
“It’s nice to have a girl on the team,” Caldwell said. “She told me that someone had told her she couldn’t be on the team because she was a girl, and she did it especially for that reason.”
She’s also good at the game.
“She also finds that she likes it a lot and it’s all around good times,” he said. “She’s not one to point out what you did wrong, but she’ll tell you how you can do it better.”
Jordan Card, offensive line coach with the Avalanche, said Power has become a huge asset for the team.
“A lot of girls don’t play physical sports, some play rugby, but football is seen more as a guy’s sport,” Card said. “She’s like any of the guys out there, she’s part of the team. There’s no difference whatsoever.”
Card said he wouldn’t be surprised if she moved up to the starting line-up if she continues to excel.
“She can hit really hard,” he said.