Woman tackles football as she nears 40
BY DON RICE, THE STARPHOENIX JULY 4, 2014
At an age when most people are slowing down, or retiring from contact sports, 39-year-old Melanie Harris is just getting going.
The married mother of two was talked into trying out for the Saskatoon Valkyries women’s tackle football team three years ago by her young niece. Now Harris is still playing, and her 24-year-old niece has retired.
“It’s just important to let people know that age is not a barrier,” said Harris who starts at defensive end. “If you have support from family and friends, you can make it work.”
Harris has a chance to help the Valkyries win their fourth straight Western Women’s Canadian Football League championship today, as Saskatoon hosts the Lethbridge Steel in the title game at Griffiths Stadium at 7 p.m.
It is a three times a week commute from Outlook for Harris, who is encouraged to play by her husband Brad and two children. Brad, a former hockey referee who never played football himself, serves on the Valkyries’ board of directors. Read more...