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.
Toni Liechty, Fleesha Willfong and Katherine Sveinson
Jen D. Wong, Julie S. Son, Stephanie T. West, Jill J. Naar and Toni Liechty
This study contributes to the fields of aging and physical activity by applying the key principles of the life course perspective to investigate women’s team sport participation experience in late adulthood. Through focus groups, data were collected from six competitive softball teams of women (N = 64) ranging from 55 to 79 years old. Data were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed for themes related to the life course principles of historical context and place, social embeddedness, agency, as well as trajectories and timing. A key study finding was that the women experienced cultural lag and age-related barriers to resources when playing competitive softball in late adulthood. In addition, the network of shared relationships occupied by these women had both positive and negative influences on their participation in competitive sports. Study findings can help inform services and programs at the local community level aimed at enhancing women’s physical activity and health in late adulthood.