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Women's flag football's upcoming home game

By Maya McKeefery
On February 12, 2021

Graphic by Maya McKeefery

Remember growing up and hearing the terms “you throw like a girl” or “calm down, are you on your period?” These terms are sexist; prejudice or discrimination based on sex or gender, especially against women and girls. But throwing like a girl isn’t a bad thing, especially for Ottawa’s women’s flag football team. 


Many people did not think women’s collegiate flag football would ever be allowed, let alone be socially accepted or even watched. Ottawa has 20 women on its flag football team roster, coming from all over the country making history this season. 


Kimberly Ibarra, a freshman from Las Vegas, Nevada, originally played soccer. During freshman year of high school, her health class teacher made a comment on how athletic she was. This teacher was the coach of the school’s flag football team. Every day, he urged her to try out for his team. Ibarra’s friends eventually got her to cave, as they had tried out for the team and were able to convince her, too. 


“If they ever make it into a ‘Women’s NFL,’ then I would love to continue,” says Ibarra, who has played the sport for four years. 


Ibarra says she was thrilled about playing her first home game in an Ottawa uniform. 


“I’ve already got a taste about how we played when we did in Vegas. We were very united. It was an exciting feeling,” she says.


The 2020/2021 school year is the first year that women’s flag football has been considered a sport at the collegiate level and not just a club team. Ottawa was one of the first 15 schools to induct this into its array of sports.


“Women being able to have this opportunity should’ve been able to happen a long time ago,” says Ibarra, who plays the corner position. “I’m very excited to be a part of the first. It's making history for future generations. I know one day I’m gonna be looked up to by younger people that will want to do this.”


The first game, scheduled for 6 p.m. February 20, against Milligan University, will be the first time women’s flag football has played a home game in Ottawa


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