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Cumberland Panthers Launch Girls Tackle Football Program

By Mark Ouellet, 10/30/19, 10:15AM EDT


The Cumberland Panthers Football Club Announces the Launch of Three Girls’ Tackle Football Programs for Spring 2020

The Cumberland Panthers Football Club are announcing what we believe to be a first in Canada, a complete club-level Tackle Football program exclusively for girls.

Programs available will be U12, U15 and U19 (Varsity) and will be run in the spring, concurrent with the Girls' Touch program. There will be no conflict between the two programs and Girls' are encouraged to participate in both. These programs are open to young women from across Ottawa without any territory restrictions.

See the press release linked below for more information. Questions can be directed to

Ottawa, ON - The Cumberland Panthers Football Club are excited to announce the launch of three girls’ tackle football programs for spring 2020. The Club will launch U12 and U15 training programs and a U19 Girls’ Tackle Varsity program that will compete against available opponents, including area high schools. The development of these programs is supported by the National Capital Amateur Football Association, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, Ontario Football Alliance, National Capital Secondary School Athletics Association and Football Canada as a response to a demand to grow the sport for young women, a demographic traditionally under-represented.

These spring programs are designed to be outside of the traditional fall football season and are available to all female players, regardless of NCAFA territory. The Panthers will be working with NCAFA and its member clubs to ensure players are available to their respective fall programs.

“The Cumberland Panthers have seen excellent growth in our girls’ touch football and cheer programs in recent years and demand for girls’ tackle has inspired us to take the lead on this new initiative. We are thrilled to be able to deliver this opportunity to the community and develop what we believe is the first Club-level girls’ tackle program in the country. As the father of an 11-year old female football player, I am proud to help bring this program to reality.”, Mark Ouellet, President – Cumberland Panthers Football Club

"Football Canada would like to congratulate the Cumberland Panthers on the introduction of the new female tackle programs.  This additional discipline being added to the non-contact opportunities will provide another great option for females to choose from.  The growth in female football is taking place across the country in all three disciplines Tackle, Touch and Flag.  The timing of the program could not be better with the potential of the first national under 18 female tackle program taking place in the next couple years as well as the next Women’s World Championship taking place in Finland in 2021.", Shannon Donovan, Executive Director, Football Canada

The Ontario Football Alliance is thrilled to have the Cumberland Panthers develop Womens' Teams in the Ottawa Region. 2019 is shaping up to be a transformation for Womens Football with the new Team Ontario Women's Tackle Team 18 years and over team being developed to compete in the 2020 Canadian National Championships and now three new teams in Ottawa with the Cumberland Panthers. The OFA looks forward to supporting these athletes and Cumberland and fostering a great working relationship building capacity within both organizations to continue to strengthen Womens' football in Ontario. As this beautiful game continues to grow, we need clubs like Cumberland to champion Womens' Football. Congratulations Cumberland! “, Adam Ziegler, Head Coach, Team Ontario (Women)/OFA Coaches Director & Technical Director

About the Cumberland Panthers: The Cumberland Panthers Football Club was founded in 1993 and has grown into the largest minor football club in eastern Canada, fielding 17 teams in 2019. Representing the east end of Orleans in suburban Ottawa, the Panthers are home to over 400 players, 75 coaches and dozens of dedicated volunteers.