The purpose of this study was to explore the embodied nature of empowerment among women who play tackle football. Data collection involved semistructured interviews with 15 female football players in Western Canada. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. Three themes emerged from the data suggesting that playing football was empowering as women experienced: a) feelings of strength related to the physicality of the game; b) a sense of breaking boundaries as they participated despite challenges; and c) a sense of belonging to the team which led to positive outcomes such as increased confidence and selfacceptance. The findings of this study highlight the embodied nature of empowerment that comes through participation in sport and characteristics of contact team sport that can facilitate empowerment for women.
Liechty is with the Department of Recreation, Sport & Tourism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Willfong and Sveinson are with the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.