Conversation with an almost-Angel

By Karen Aney (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: September 26, 2012

Annie (name has been changed) is a 27-year-old who tried out for the Angels. She was asked to come back to the second round of tryouts, but decided to decline the invitation. She spoke with us to share what led her to that decision.

Tell me about your background, athletic and otherwise.

I’ve played rugby for a long time, since I was 16. I’ve been involved in dance since I was five. I’m pretty athletic, my body and fitness is important to me.

What do you do to stay in shape right now?

I take a class that’s a mix of pilates and cardio. I’m also playing rugby, so that takes up a lot of time.

How did you hear about the tryouts?

Well, I knew the team was going to be happening. I lived in Abbotsford last year, so I saw a lot [in the papers] about the team, protesting it and stuff.

The protests made you more interested in playing?

Haha – no, not necessarily, but it made me more aware of it. I kind of felt like, hey, why are they protesting it? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to play football if you’re a girl, and who cares if it’s in lingerie?

So how was the first tryout?

It was okay. I was kind of put off, because we were told to look cute, to wear cute gym clothes. I’m not used to being told how to look when I’m training – I mean, with dance and stuff, you always try to look nice but there are days that you just don’t care, you know?

And what was the tryout itself like?

Pretty standard. There were girls there that were definitely just models – girls who cared about looking good. They didn’t have athletic experience. It was weird for me, because playing rugby you’re used to … going hard, all the time. It was weird that some of them didn’t seem to care … why were they there?

Is that what put you off playing?

I guess that was part of it. It didn’t feel like a secure environment for me. At rugby, if you have mud all over yourself and you haven’t brushed your hair in a week and you forgot your socks, that’s okay. The most my team would do is lend you socks and point out if you have a stick in your ponytail. I felt like these girls would judge me if I wasn’t … looking my best, all the time.

That’s why you decided not to go back? Any other reasons?

That’s mostly the reason. It was partially because I didn’t want to be looked at for the fact that I was wearing lingerie. It’s like, I’m an athlete, deal with it … what else should fans need?

How do you feel about the girls selected for the team? Do you remember them from tryouts?

Maybe a couple. I don’t have specific memories of any of them. I remember one girl who didn’t make the team, she asked me where I got my shorts with that look on her face – you know? The one that’s like, “why are you so cheap?” But I don’t want to wear expensive stuff if it’s going to get wrecked.

When you hear about the team now, how does it make you feel?

I don’t feel much of anything. If those girls want to play, it’s their thing. I’ll focus on rugby, and my own health. That’s what matters to me. I wish them the best of luck.