A North Vancouver athlete who has already made history on the football field playing against men is getting an opportunity to go head-to-head against women while playing the game on a global stage.
Kristie Elliott made history last fall when she became the first Canadian woman ever to play and score in a North American university football game. On Sept. 11, 2021, Elliott kicked a pair of converts for Simon Fraser University in an NCAA Division II Great Northwest Conference game against Oregon’s Linfield University. She kept on kicking throughout the season, earning 2021 GNAC Football All-Conference Team Honorable Mention selection.
Elliott will now get a chance to wear a Team Canada jersey after earning a spot on senior national team for the International Federation of American Football Women's World Championship, July 27-Aug. 8 in Vantaa, Finland.
Elliott earned her spot after taking part in Football Canada's National Women's Football Weekend, May 5-8 in Ottawa.
"I am stoked to be playing at such a high level," Elliott stated in an SFU release. "It's wild to me that only 45 women got chosen to represent Canada and I am one of them. I am so grateful for this opportunity.”
Back in 2019, she was a first-year student on the track and field team at SFU. She’d never kicked a football before or even ever watched an entire football game in her life. Her first kick came after she made a bet with a football player that she could hit a 40-yard field goal. After she drilled the kick, the wheels started in motion that would eventually see her trying out for the SFU football team and, ultimately, earning a spot as the team’s main kicker.
"Looking back at my football journey, I would have never imagined myself being where I am today," said Elliott. "I was so proud of myself for just making SFU's football team. Now I am the first Canadian female to play and score in college football and will be representing Canada. That is unreal to me. The opportunities are endless."
The National Women's Football Weekend was the first time she competed in the sport alongside other women.
"I was definitely more intimidated by all the women I was trying out with," she said. "They played on women's teams and knew each other and I felt like the odd one out at first. That quickly changed as I started to get to know them. They were so supportive of me and welcomed me into their football family. … Playing with women is very different. There's lots of cheering and positive reinforcement. It felt very nice. There is no smack talking. It was very awesome to see all the women so happy. I cannot wait to head to Finland."