While the province of Ontario may be somewhat late to the party when it comes to female football, the Central Canadian Women’s Football League is working towards propelling the game into unchartered territory. Although the ambitious league is still gathering its leadership group and establishing its foundation, a photo and video shoot which took place on June 7 at the University of Guelph Varsity Stadium brought with it the chance to introduce an enthusiastic and charismatic new face.
Nicole Allen represents the passion and drive that the CCWFL is hoping to bring to women’s football. Bringing a breadth of athletic experience to the gridiron as well, Allen is a perfect fit. Having competed in rugby, soccer and field hockey, the chance to play elite female football represents the next chapter in her sporting journey.
From a football perspective, Allen may be a novice as a player but brings a wonderful series of experiences. Serving on the support staff for various men’s programs, she understands the importance of teamwork and the camaraderie that defines the culture of a team. Of note, she has worked in athletic therapy for the University of Guelph Gryphons varsity football program, where she also works with the women’s volleyball and rugby programs.
In 2012, a stint as a therapy intern for the Toronto Argonauts provided Allen a brush with history. With the 2012 edition of the Grey Cup signifying its centennial, Allen was part of the support staff that saw the Argonauts finish its season hoisting the coveted Cup. Such qualification is enhanced by the fact she proudly serves as Team Ontario Football’s head athletic therapist. Her travels with Team Ontario have taken her throughout North America, including Alberta, Nova Soctia and south of the border in the football mad state of Texas.
Of all the elements that makes Allen a likeable personality for the league; it is her background off the field. In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Allen is a highly educated individual. In 2009, she graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton with Honors. Majoring in Kinesiology while earning a minor in Health Studies, she continued her studies at Sheridan College. Beginning in 2013, Allen, who also holds a Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences, has been a Certified Athletic Therapist with two associations; the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association and the Ontario Athletic Therapist Association.
Football fans can certainly expect to see more of Allen in the foreseeable future. An upcoming poster campaign will be graced by Allen’s image, helping to spread the message that the women of Ontario are ready for their turn to tackle the gridiron game. In addition, a free skills camp on June 28 at the Trio Sportsplex in Vaughan (located north of Toronto) will be open for women 16 and over. Allen shall be one of many women in attendance, enthusiastic about this new era in women’s sport in Ontario as the CCWFL looks to value the talent of the player while honoring their passion to play the game.