BAFA is delighted to announce the Great Britain Women's team will take part in the IFAF 2017 Women's World Championships. The competition will take place between June 24 – June 30, in Langley, British Columbia at McLeod Stadium. The event will be hosted by Football Canada in partnership with the British Columbia Provincial Football Association (BCPFA).
The tournament will feature a week-long tournament between six nations - The hosts, Canada; reigning World champions, USA; Great Britain; Finland; Australia and Mexico. It will be the third WWC staged by IFAF and the first outside of Europe with the preceding two being held in Sweden 2010 and Finland 2013.
BAFA Chairman, Martin Cockerill said, "We are very proud of the achievements and efforts of all our national teams and the exceptional BAFA members who are part of these. The Great Britain Women's Team has very-much earned the success they have achieved and we are are delighted to see them now have the opportunity to compete at the highest level."
The GB Women's team is the current European Championship Silver medalists, a position won during the 2015 Women's European Championships played in Maracena, Spain. In that competition GB defeated both Germany and Sweden before falling to European powerhouse Finland in the final. This was an astonishing achievement for the team in their first international competition and upset all expectations at the time.
Great Britain head coach, Jim Messenger, said; "It's extraordinary to think we will be playing on the World stage after just three years of the full Great Britain Women's programme. The commitment and effort of everyone involved over this time has been outstanding and just to be at the World Championships is an incredible achievement." He continued; "We are well aware of how incredibly tough the competition is going to be. It's a step-up from the European stage but we are delighted to take on the challenge and test ourselves against the best in the World."
The tournament throws-up some intriguing possible match-ups as Team GB could face a re-match with European Champions Finland, along with the a possible first-ever event in one of the longest running national sports rivalries in the world, Great Britain v Australia at women's American football! There will be North American continent bragging rights up for grabs with representation from the three main nations and also an unofficial Commonwealth crown between Great Britain, Canada and Australia.
"We are looking forward to meeting and competing against other female football pioneers from around the World," said team captain, Phoebe Schecter; "It feels like the global women's football family is really growing fast and this is such an incredible opportunity for us all. We are so grateful to BAFA, our team staff and our supporters for helping us to pursue our dreams and everyone back home can be sure we will all give our utmost again to make everyone proud of Team GB."
The Great Britain Women's team is currently seeking sponsorship partners as they prepare for this unique opportunity.