PLAYER TO COACH: FROM THE BEST IN THE NATION
Updated: May 5, 2018
With the growth of women’s tackle football not only in Canada, but around the world, comes an increase in female coaches. The Saskatoon Valkyries are fortunate enough to have two such coaches with a longstanding connection to the team: Marci Halseth and Beth Thompson.
Halseth, a receiver with the Valkyries since 2011, has twice represented Saskatchewan at the Women’s National Championship and played for Canada at the Women’s World Tackle Football Championship in 2013. She was slated to do so again in 2017, but an injury during spring training stopped her 2017 season with the Valkyries and Team Canada before it started. Despite the injury, Halseth still wanted to contribute to the team, and found a way to do so, this time as a coach.
“I love the Valkyries,” Halseth said, “They gave me so much to me during the first six years, and when I got hurt I wanted to help out in some way.”
With her six years of history playing with the Valkyries, along with her experience gained
from coaching the junior tackle football team and Rush girls flag football team at Aden Bowman where she is a teacher, Halseth was a natural fit for the Valkyries’ coaching staff. In fact, coaching fit her so well that she was even named as one of two female coaches on the Canadian national team for 2017.
Thompson had also been a member of the
Valkyries since 2011, starting off as member
of the offensive line, but she hung up her cleats and picked up a whistle for the 2014 season. Before she made the transition, Thompson joined Halseth as a member of the 2012 Saskatchewan team and the 2013 Canadian team. Her many years with the team, both on and off the field, have created a bond with the team.
“The Valkyries are a family and I have connected with so many great people and had so many amazing experiences because
of being a part of this team. I am honoured to work with and learn from our amazing coaches, staff, and players.”
Like Halseth, Thompson, a teacher at Bedford Road, also coaches the Rush girls flag football
team and senior tackle football team at her school. She’s also made an impact for female coaching at the provincial level, sharing her knowledge and experience with the 2016 Saskatchewan women’s team that won gold at nationals.
We are passionate about building the opportunities for girls and women in the sport of football. When players become coaches and the legacy of the Valkyries is passed along, we couldn't be more proud. What an honour it has been to have these strong, intelligent, and incredibly talented women as a force among our coaching staff for the 2017 season. It is because of women like Thompson and Halseth that the future is bright in the world of women's football in Canada.