Skip to main content

'We can be successful': Regina tackle football team breaking barriers with all female coaching staff

The Regina Victorias are led by an entirely female coaching staff for the first time in the team’s history.

“That’s been my sort of project is to have female coaches coaching females. So as years progressed I kept adding more female names as best I could and eventually here we are with all females,” said head coach Claire Doré.

The Victorias were the first female tackle football team for grades 7-12 in Regina. Doré has been with the team since its inaugural season in 2018 but took over as head coach in 2020.

“It’s pretty cool to see. I don’t think there’s ever been a full female staff for a tackle football team,” said assistant coach Shantel Englot.

“If we’re the first (in league history) we’re happy to be so and hopefully we’re not the last,” said Doré.

The coaching staff consists of nine women who all know they are breaking barriers, especially in a male-dominated industry.

“It’s funny to watch the refs, they’re always looking for the male on the sideline and they don’t know who to approach when it’s all females,” said offensive line coach Trisha Jattansingh.

“When I started out, it was predominantly male coaches. Now just to know there are so many women like me who want to come out and grow the sport is amazing,” said linebacker coach Danae Nicholson.

Nicholson was on the first Regina Victorias team and played throughout her entire high school career. She is now in her first year of university but wanted to come back to coach the game she loves.

“I envision a world where women in football is just the same as men in football,” said Nicholson.

The players have been very receptive to the all female slate of coaches.

“I can be open with all the things I’m going through or how I’m feeling this day. I don’t have to hide anything like I would with a male coach,” said Victorias quarterback Emilie Gatin.

“They’re definitely understanding. They know who you are, what you’re going through and how to make it better,” said defensive lineman Ryan Zimmer.

“It’s been a great privilege to be coached by all of these women. I’ve always kind of believed in ‘you can’t be what you can’t see,’ and now to have a full staff of female coaches, I can see me being that,” said Abby Ounsworth, who has been on the team since the inaugural season.

As for the coaches, they are using their experience as females in the sport to help make a difference for the young women.

“All of us have been through this in the way they have. A lot of times you hear male coaches asking females to do things that just aren’t realistic to them and this way I know all of the coaches have been through this and know exactly the experience that these young women are having,” said Doré. “We can be female lead, and we can be successful.”

“We were young girls at one point. We know what it was like to be teenagers. I think we might be a little bit softer. Our approach to football is different. The girls always want to know ‘why’ we are doing something,” said Jattansingh. “They come out of their shells a lot quicker.” Top Stories

PM pans Poilievre for 'pulling stunts' by threatening to delay MPs' holidays with House tactics

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is threatening to delay MPs' holidays by throwing up thousands of procedural motions seeking to block Liberal legislation until Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backs off his carbon tax. It's a move Government House Leader Karina Gould was quick to condemn, warning the Official Opposition leader's 'temper tantrum' tactics will impact Canadians.

Stay Connected