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Dreaming of Beijing : experiencing the changing landscape of elite women's soccer in Canada McGhee, Ashley N. 2008-03-06

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DREAMING OF BEIJING: EXPERIENCING THE CHANGINGLANDSCAPE OF ELITE WOMEN’S SOCCER IN CANADAbyASHLEY N. McGHEEBA, Sociology, Oakland University, 2002A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THEREQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Human Kinetics)THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAVANCOUVERJUNE 2008© Ashley N. McGhee, 200811AbstractOn April 9, 2008 the Canadian women’s soccer national team secured its firstberth into the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Despite this great accomplishment, sinceits formation in July 1986 Team Canada has struggled to develop and maintainconsistency at the international level. Furthermore, although soccer is currently the“game of choice” for young girls and women at the recreational level in Canada, therehas been little support for women’s professional development in Canada (Hall, 2004).Despite this limited support, however, a number of changes have taken place in recentyears in an attempt to elevate the landscape of elite women’s soccer in Canada.More specifically, in 1999, the Canadian Soccer Association hired a full-timeinternational head coach for the women’s national program. In February 2006, theVancouver Whitecaps FC also hired a full-time head coach for its amateur seniorwomen’s team. These fully-funded positions provided critical human and financialresources for the development of elite women’s soccer.My research objectives are two-fold; first, I construct a chronological account ofthe development of elite women’s soccer in Canada focusing primarily on some majorchanges that occurred in 2006. Second, I examine how these changes have impactedtheexperiences and attitudes of female players and staff members involved in elite women’ssoccer in Canada.In-depth interviews were conducted with two sample groups (players andstaff)drawn from the 2006 Whitecaps FC women’s team and the Canadian women’s nationalteam.In general, participants from both groups expressed overwhelmingsupport for thechanges that took place, however deeper readings of the data revealed morecomplexthemes and troubling issues such as the level of sacrifices players were forcedto make intheir personal lives and their sense of losing levels of control over theirplaying careers.This research will complement an increasing focus on the socio-historicaldevelopment of women’s soccer globally and its effects upon players andcoaches (Hall,2004; Williams, 2003). More importantly, the findings willadd to existing literature byoffering a critical examination of how the professionalization ofwomen’s sport impactsthe lives and experiences of elite female athletes.111TABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT iiTABLE OF CONTENTS iiiACKNOWLEDGEMENTS VDEDICATION viCHAPTER 1 1INTRODUCTION 1RESEARCH QUESTIONS 2CHAPTER 2 4REVIEW OF RELEVANT LITERATURE 4Gender and Sport 5Title IX and Women’s Soccer 8Women’s Professional Sport 12Sport Ogranizations and Female Leadership 15CHAPTER 3 19METHODOLOGY 19Sample 20Research Protocol21Research Rational23Data Analysis24Limitations25CHAPTER 431CHANGING LANDSCAPE31The Beginnings of a Dream33Competitive Women’s Soccer Around the World37FIFA Embraces Women’s International Soccer381999 FIFA Women’s World Cup41AFreshStartin200044Outside the Canadian Women’s National Team Program49Amateur Soccer within Canada and the United States52The Vancouver Whitecaps55Full-time Player Program60Conclusion — Dreaming of Beijing61CHAPTER 563FINDINGS63COMPETITIVE PLAYERS: THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE64Embracing Change64Increased Training, Decreased Funding67Excluded by Change70Lacking a Sense of Control72NATIONAL TEAM PLAYERS: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FTPP73Embracing Change73Increased Support, Increased Sacrifice75Lacking a Sense of Control77STAFF MEMBERS: VIEWS OF THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE79Perceived Struggle: Gender Bias80Perceived Struggle: Cultural Attitudes82ivCHAPTER6.85DISCUSSION 85WOMEN AND PROFESSIONAL SPORT 86SPORT ORGANIZATIONS AND FEMALE LEADERSHIP 88CHAPTER 7 92CONCLUSION 92FUTURE RESEARCH 96INCLOSING 97REFERENCES98APPENDIX 1: LETTER OF INITIAL CONTACT 112APPENDIX 2: INFORMATION SHEET & CONSENT FORM 114APPENDIX 3: BIOGRAPHICAL FORM 117APPENDIX 4: INTERVIEW GUIDE (PLAYERS)118APPENDIX 5: INTERVIEW GUIDE (STAFF)120APPENDIX 6: ETHICS APPROVAL123VAcknowledgementsI am grateful to a number of individuals who have made this thesis possible.To the valuable participants in this study: your willingness and openness to participatemade this thesis possible, and your passion and pursuit of the game made this thesis apleasurable process.Thank you to Dr. Brian Wilson and Dr. Richard Mosher, my committee members, foryour expertise, insightful comments and assistance. It has been a delight to work withyou and learn from you.I would like to thank my mother, Barbara Urie, and friends, Anastacia Nemec andMeridith Griffin, for their unfaltering support throughout this research endeavor. Thankyou for believing in me,Lastly, a very special thank you to my supervisor, Dr. Patricia Vertinsky, for yoursupport, wisdom, and patience. You are an incredible inspiration.To my mother, Barbara Alvera Urievi1Chapter 1IntroductionIn a devastating 2-1 loss to Mexico in March of 2003 at the Olympic QualifyingTournament (CONCACAF) in San Jose, Costa Rica, the dreams and aspirations of theCanadian women’s national soccer team were shattered.’ The result: Canada would onceagain not compete at the Olympics Games.Now, the 2008 Olympic Games hosted in Beijing, China, are fast approaching.Since its first appearance as an official sport in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta,USA, no Canadian women’s national team has experienced the glory and honor of anOlympic Games event.In a post-Title IX era, women’s soccer in North America and around the worldhas grown exponentially.2Appearing in communities all over Canada sincethe early1970’s, by 2002 soccer had become a female’s ‘game of choice’ with almost 50%ofsoccer registrants across Canada being female (Hall, 2004).Not only are more and moreyoung girls competing in soccer, but adult women’s leagues comprised of varyinglevelsof skill are competing for municipal, provincial, and national titles across thecountry.Yet despite the vast popularity of women’s soccer at the community and youthlevels inCanada, there have been fewer opportunities for female soccer players tocompete atsemi-professional, professional, and international levels.‘The Confederation for North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football(CONCACAF) hosts qualifying tournaments for the Women’s World Cup andtheOlympic Games.2A discussion of Title IX and its specific impact on women’ssoccer in Canada and theU.S. is included below.2However, the landscape of women’s soccer in Canada is changing. In 1999, theCanadian Soccer Association (CSA) hired a full-time Head Coach for the Canadianwomen’s national team. For the first time since its inaugural performance on theinternational soccer scene against the USA in July 1986, the national team is beingdirected by an expert and well known international coach. His main objectives as headcoach are to elevate women’s elite soccer in Canada and to have the national team climbthe rankings of international women’s soccer with dominance and staying power.In the following thesis, I examine how recent organizational changes in women’ssoccer, primarily within the Vancouver Whitecaps FC organization and the Canadiannational program, are changing the landscape of elite-level women’s soccer in Canadaand at the same time impacting the competitive and life experiencesof players and staffmembers involved.Upon presenting the research questions that guide this study, this thesisisorganized into the following chapters: Chapter 2 providesa literature review where Icritically examine existing research on gender, sport,and women’s soccer, and chapter 3discusses the methodology selected for this study.Chapter 4 provides a comprehensivehistorical documentation of the development of elite-levelwomen’s soccer in Canada andprovides the context from which to present the findingsof my interviews with players,coaches and staff members in chapter 5. Chapter 6 discussesthe implications of myfindings and chapter 7 concludes with some future recommendationsfor further researchin this area.3Research QuestionsIn light of the current context of elite women’s soccer, this research explores thecompetitive and life experiences of elite female soccer players and staff members at atime when the landscape of women’s soccer in Canada is changing and attempts to givevoice to players and staff members influenced by such changes. The broad researchquestions that will guide an exploration of this topic are:1. How is the landscape of elite women’s soccer in Canada changing?2. How is the changing landscape in women’s soccer in Canada shaping theexperiences of the elite female soccer players and staff members involved?4Chapter 2Review of Relevant LiteratureResearch on women in sport has garnered considerable attention over the lastthree decades of the20thcentury. Sociologists, feminists and cultural theorists haveproduced a plethora of research on women in sport that includes the history of women’sinvolvement in —and exclusion from- sport including the development and impact of TitleIX, the impact of a heteronormative climate in sport for lesbian and straight women,andthe social, physical and psychological benefits of participationin sport and physicalactivity for young girls and women (Hargreaves, 1994; Cahn, 1994;Heywood &Dworkin, 2003). As well, researchers have focused onareas such as the study of sport asa male preserve, the impact of sport on traditional notions of gender(masculinity/femininity) and sexuality, as well as the exclusion of,misrepresentationlunderrepresentation of and perpetuationof women’s sports and femaleathletes within traditional forms of media (Connell, 1987;Hargreaves, 1994; Theberge &Cronk, 1986).My analysis of the changing landscape of elite women’ssoccer in Canadapresented here is informed by various literatures that discuss;sport as a male preserveand examine how notions of femininity are implicatedthrough the participation ofwomen in sport; the impact that Title IX has hadon increasing female participation insport in general and women’s soccer specifically; examine‘professional’ sport forwomen and the professional female athlete experience;and, the lack of female leadershipwithin sport organizations. Theories of gender andpower frame this research.5Gender and SportResearchers agree that the institution of sport within Canada and the United Stateshas long served as a male institution where young boys and men have preferential accessto recreational and professional involvement in sport (Young & White, 1999). Sport hastraditionally been seen as an arena where young boys and men learn the performance ofmasculinity and what it means to be a man in this culture. In this way, the institutionofsport has been seen as an arena where traditional and ideal traits of masculinity (i.e.,aggressiveness, toughness, mental and emotional control, commitment, rationality,dedication, teamwork, leadership, and the perception of a well-roundedpersonality) arecultivated and glorified (Connell, 1987; Whitson, 1990; Messner, 1992; Hargreaves,1994; Hall, 1999; White & Young, 1999; McKay, Messner & Sabo, 2000). Connell’s(1987) notions of hegemonic masculinity and emphasized femininity, for example,havebeen applied by many in illustrating how sport serves as an institution that ideologicallyperpetuates traditional notions of masculinity and its dominance over otherforms ofmasculinity and femininity (Connell & Messerschmidt, 2005).This notion of hegemonic masculinity has guided a range of studiesandcommentaries on sport since the late 1980’s (Messner & Sabo, 1990).Stemming fromexplorations of hegemony, male sex roles, plurality of masculinitiesand complexities ofgender construction for men, this concept has encouraged an understandingof patternsand practices that have promoted and perpetuated the dominance ofsome men over othermen and over women more generally (Connell & Messerschmidt, 2005).An aspect ofthis dominance that has been, and continues to be, thoroughly investigatedby researchersexamines how traditional notions of femininity and female (hetero)sexualityare6implicated within sport. Griffin (1998) and Lenskyj (1999; 2003) argue that in order forwomen to be successful in sport, they must gender/conform their bodies andcharacteristics to those that fall within traditional notions of masculinity (Karwas, 1993;Levy & Miller, 1996; Lowe, 1998; Dowling, 2000; Clasen, 2001). This is not to say thatwomen must simply ‘act’ masculine in order to be good athletes. At the same time thatfemale athletes work to embody and engage in masculinity in order to ‘succeed’at/withinsport, female athletes must also carefully embody and engage in femininity in ordertomaintain their ‘feminine’ and ‘heterosexual’ identities andward off assumptions oflesbianism (Lenskyj, 1999). Fear-mongering basedon the notion of the ‘lesbianboogeywoman’ works to curtail girls and women’s involvementin sport by suggestingthat females who desire to engage in sport and doso successfully are mannish (“MuscleMoll” and/or “Butch”) and sexually desire women(Cahn, 1994; Griffin, 1998). Even intoday’s sport media a successful female athletes’ sexualityand female authenticity is oftquestioned, highly controversial (when homosexual),and highly emphasized/promoted(when heterosexual) (Robinson, 2002).The media also aids and abets the perpetuation of the ‘nature’of sport astraditionally masculine by reporting primarily on men’ssports and often exploitingimages of female athletes. Many researchers have investigatedhow traditional forms ofmedia perpetuate the marginalization of women in sport.Work in this area has variedfrom the exclusion of women’s sports and femaleathletes in the media altogether, littlerepresentation of women’s sports within the media,the sexualization of female athleteswithin the media, and the perpetuation of traditionalnotions of femininity throughpictures and stories about women’s sports and femaleathletes (Boutilier & SanGiovanni,71983; Rintala & Birrell, 1984; Kane, 1989; Duncan; 1990; Lucas, 2000; Knoppers &Elling, 2004; Carty, 2005).Fears of lesbianism coupled with lack of coverage in the sports media result in theneed for female athletes to engage in Connell’s (1987) concept of emphasized femininitythat only leads to more public discourse that questions women’s place in competitivesport. For example, when Brandi Chastain jubilantly pulled off her jersey after scoringthe final penalty kick to capture the 1999 Women’s World Cup Gold Medal, the mediaquestioned the ‘femininity’ of her behavior and muscular upper-body rather than baskingin her triumph (Heywood & Dworkin, 2003). More recentlyin 2004, rather thanfocusing his energy on increasing its support and development of thewomen’s gamearound the world, FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter argued thatwhat women’s soccerneeds is different sponsors from the men’sgame and that it should try to attract fashionand cosmetics companies by featuring “morefeminine uniforms” such as “tighter shorts”.Blatter went on to say, “Pretty women are playingfootball today”, implying the need forsexualizing the sport and insinuating perhaps that, inthe past, female soccer players werenot “pretty”.As a bastion of masculinity, sport has thereforebeen a long-contested arenawherein women’s participation and access to competitionhas been resisted anddiscouraged. Though females did participate in sport formany decades and fought hardto resist exclusion, legislated inclusion in the formof ‘gender equality’ would be theimpetus for great change for women in sport.8Title JX and Women ‘s SoccerAny examination of women’s soccer in Canada and the United States mustdiscuss the profound impact Title IX of the Educational Amendments (of the U.S.Constitution) has had on women’s sports in the United States and indeed more generally(Carpenter & Acosta, 2004; Hogshead-Makar & Zimbalist, 2007; McDonagh& Pappano,2007; Mitchell & Emiis, 2007; Simon, 2005; Suggs, 2006; Ware, 2006). Passedin 1972,Title IX provided females with a “fair and equitable share for whatever opportunity afederally-assisted educational institution offers” (Hogan, 1979:175 as cited in Clasen,2001 :3). Tn mandating that educational institutions receiving federalfunding be equitablein the distribution of their funds, not only was thedoor for women’s athletics opened, butalso the impact of such legislation was immediate resultingin the tremendous growth offemale participation in organized sport. Before TitleIX, only I in 27 girls participated insports (Lakowski, 2006); today female participation inU.S. high school sports has risenfrom nearly 300,000 in 1971 to a historical high reaching2.8 million in 2002-2003(Carpenter & Acosta, 2004). Similarly, participation amongU.S. college women hasrisen 372 percent over that time, from 32,000 to more than150,000 women (McDonagh& Pappano, 2007).More pertinent to this thesis, female participation in soccergrew exponentially asa result of Title IX legislation. Tn 1977 just 2.8 percentof the nation’s intercollegiatewomen’s athletics programs offered soccer. This numberincreased more than 4,000percent by 2004 where 88.6 percent of schools offeredsoccer programs to women(Carpenter & Acosta, 2004). In 2005-2006, the sportof soccer ranked highest in9participation within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) with 21,709female competitors, an increase from 1,855 participants in 198 i-82.Like the United States, a resurgence of feminist activity in Canada beginning inthe late 1 960s had an impact on society, including sport. Although women were notsingled out for special attention within its mandate, Bill C- 131, the Fitness and AmateurSport Act of 1961, marked a change for amateur sport in Canada for women not unlikethe passage of Title IX; by the mid-i 970s, parents all across Canada were “waking up tothe fact that their daughters were not being treated in the same way as their sons when itcame to recreational and sporting opportunities.” (Hall, 2002, p.163) By the late 1970s,sport-related complaints of sex-discrimination began to come to the attention ofprovincial human rights commissions, bringing with them public interest, concern, andpressure to eliminate unequal and sex-discriminatory sport and recreation programs (Hall,2002).As parents, coaches, administrators, volunteers, and interest-group organizationsfought to gain more and more access for girls and women to participate in recreationaland sport organizations, soccer for girls and women (not unlike what was occurring in theU.S. upon the implementation of Title IX) was one of the sports that experienced themost rapid growth. Ifedi (2005) with Statistics Canada reported that soccer is the numberone sport for Canadian girls and boys between the ages of five and 14 years with aparticipation rate of 44%, and for the population aged 15 and over, soccer ranked fourthin participation.NCAA Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report 1981-82 — 2005-06,published May 2007 ( accessed May 5, 2008).10Hall (2004) labeled soccer a “girls game of choice” recognizing that opportunitiesfor female youth to participate in soccer abound. She notes that with these increasedparticipation rates most universities within Canada offer women’s soccer programs.However many young women wishing to play competitive soccer and attend universitywill opt to got to the United States, where the competition is stronger and the financialsupport often greater (Hall, 2004,p.44). This drain of Canadian players to the UnitedStates, Hall (2004) suggests, has the effect of “watering down the competition” inCanada.However soccer in not only played in Canada and the United States;coined the“World’s Game”, football (“soccer” as it is known in Canada in theU.S.) is played inmore countries than any other sport in the world and in many countries it is consideredthe ‘national’ sport. Just as women have been largely excluded from thedevelopment ofand participation in sport in general, their involvementin soccer has been a long-contested battle. This sport made by men and for men hasin the past and continues tomarginalize women’s involvement in both the decision-makingand participationprocesses of the sport (Duke & Crolley, 1996).As the popularity of girls and women’s soccer aroundthe world has increased,academic research on the subject has grown with muchof it focused on women’s footballin Britain (Caudwell, 2006; Harris, 2005; Williams, 2003,2006; Williams & Woodhouse,1991). However despite the rapid growth of women’s soccerand the readiness of manynational sporting organizations to boast about their growingnumbers in femaleparticipation female soccer players still face barriersto competition based on ideas ofgender, race, and sexuality. Indeed women’s socceras a sport still faces obstacles in a11continued effort of competitive development (Cox & Thompson, 2000; Harris, 2007;Hoffman, Ging, Matheson & Ramasamy, 2006; Knoppers & Anthonissen, 2003;Mennesson & Clement, 2003; Pelak, 2005; Scraton, Caudwell & Holland, 2005).Through qualitative in-depth interviews with female soccer players in England,Germany, Norway, and Sweden, researchers Fasting, Pfister, andScraton (2004) foundthat women who are engaged at a highly competitive level in a male dominated sportsuch as soccer, actively construct alternative femininities in responseto the cultural idealsof “acceptable” femininity. A more recent study done by Harris(2007) examines theways in which female college football players in the South of England negotiateideas ofmasculinity and sexuality and thus ‘do gender’ both on andoff the playing field. Hefound that despite a growing culture of acceptancein Britain for the increased number offemale participants in football, a continued lack ofserious media coverage andquestioning of players’ sexual orientation serves to resistfurther development of thewomen’s game.A more holistic picture in examining how women’ssoccer has emerged withincountries all over the world can be found in, Soccer,Women, and Sexual Liberation:Kicking offa new era (2004), where Hong and Mangan(Eds.) examine how, despitebeing a male domain, women around the globe havecarved out a place in soccer. Thecontributing authors of this book explore how countriessuch as China, Germany,Norway, Canada, and the United States all sharesimilar timeframes and political andsocial barriers in the development of women’s soccer.For example, women in China,one of the first countries to have an expansive competitivewomen’s pro-soccer league inthe 1970’s and early 1980’s, struggled with the ideologyof women competing in a12traditionally male sport (Hong & Mangan, 2004). Despite its popularity on the men’sside, soccer for women in Germany emerged later in the 1980’s also due to the concernsof young girls and women competing in a masculine sport (Pfister, 2004). In Norway,even with a less conservative cultural ideology towards gender equality, women’s soccerdid not emerge until the late 1980’s. Again, as young girls and women began competingin soccer, fears of women becoming unfeminine and therefore non-heterosexual, werepervasive (Fasting, 2004).Despite these barriers based on gender, race, and sexuality, girls and women(andthose invested in their participation in the game) have carved a place for themselvesinsoccer in ever-increasing numbers. However, as Williams (2003) writes:FIFA and national associations are rarely careful not to overstate the numberoffemale participants and this tendency has been criticized.., for deflectingattention from some of the more fundamental issues which continue to affectwomen’s access to sport. (Williams, 2003,p.109)An emphasis on participation numbers does not address theobstacles still present in thegame, one of which being the lack of a coherent professional structure for womeninsoccer.Women and ‘Professional’ SportStudies on professional sport and athletes have focusedon the historicaldevelopment and political economy of sport and on the experiencesof the athletesthemselves (Messner, 1992; Shaw & Amis, 2001; Stokvis,2000). Despite the steadyincrease in female participation at youth and collegiate levels the arena of professional13sport has largely remained a male domain. In Canada and the United States, maleathletes can be highly paid for their athletic talents in professional leagues such as theNational Football Leagues (NFL), the National Basketball League (NBA), Major LeagueBaseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (WHL), and Major Leagues Soccer (MLS).The world of professionally owned and operated leagues and franchises’ paying largesums for athletes’ talent/skill remains a sphere accessible to — or an occupation attainablemostly by — men. Fewer professional sporting opportunities exist for women; theWomen’s Professional Tennis (WPT) tours, Ladies Professional Golf Association(LPGA) tours, and the decade-old Women’s National Basketball League (WNBA) aresome of the only ‘professional’ leagues that pay their female athletes.In The Work ofProfessional Football: A LabourofLove?, Roderick (2006)examines the variety of ways in which British male participantsinterpret and negotiatetheir lives as professional footballers. Shaped by sociologicalqueries of ‘work’ and‘career’ which examine how the work people engagein becomes closely bound to theirconception of self, Roderick (2006) found that the self-identitiesof his participants weredetermined by the all-consuming and physicallydemanding ‘work’ of professionalfootball, wherein the physical nature of professionalfootball ties the player’s sense of selfinextricably to his body. As ‘performers’, professionalplayers are bound to theperformance of their body and as such football is not simplysomething that players ‘do’,rather it is something that they are. Despite daily trainingand the attempt to control anddiscipline their bodies for performance, the players in Roderick’s(2006) study found thattheir ‘careers’ were determined by a number of interdependentissues such as injuryand/or age (and the stigma surrounding both), changes inclub personnel, the club’s14financial needs, as well as the prospect of transferring. The latter aspect of a professionalplayer’s career is a reality of professional football; nevertheless, the transfer process isoften tied to notions of ‘promotion’ or ‘demotion’ and has a significant impact on theplayers’ perception of self.Though professional football for women does not exist at this time, sportforwomen is becoming more and more professionalized. Stokvis (2000) has explored howincreasing commercialization and globalization has impactedthe self-perceptions,attitudes and behaviors of elite female rowers in Holland. UsingNorbert Elias’ (1987)concept of a We-I balance, he argued how the processesof commercialization andglobalization created a shift to the I-balance of self-perception creatingconflict betweenclub coaches, national coaches, and athletesas rowing developed into an increasinglyprofessional sport. Stokvis (2000) argued thatsuch interactions and personal experiencesare unavoidable given the transition of sportfrom amateurism to commercialism,but hefailed to examine how notions of genderand power are implicated in such changeandconflict.Researchers agree that as more and morewomen’s sports strive to establish andmaintain elite levels of competition andorganization, academic research that seekstounderstand what constitutes a “professional”female athlete and women’steams/leaguesand the ways in which women’s sportundergo processes of professionalizationandcommercialization requires further investigation(Hall, 2002; McDonagh& Pappano,2007; Stokvis, 2000; Williams, 2006).15Sport Organizations and Female LeadershipIn addition to participation and competition access, the institution of sport withinCanada and the United States has typically provided boys and men favorable access toleadership and administrative positions, along with the development of sport policies(Hall, 1999; McKay, 1999). There is an extensive literature in the area of sportorganizations and female leadership examining how notions of gender and powerrelations are perpetuated through the structure and operation of sport organizations andunderrepresentation of decision-making positions available to and held by women in suchorganizations (Amis, Slack, & Hinnings, 2002; Hoeber & Frisby, 2001; McKay, 1997;Shaw & Frisby, 2006; White & Young, 1999).In many respects soccer organizations continue to marginalize women’sinvolvement in decision-making processes of the development and organization of thesport (Hall, 2004; Duke & Crolley, 1996; Williams, 2003). For example, of the 26-member Executive Committee (comprised of a President, Vice-Presidents, Members, anObserver, and a General Secretary) for le Fédération Intemationale de FootballAssociation (FIFA), all 26 members are male (Fédération Internationale de FootballAssociation [FIFA], 2006). Despite over 125 countries with Female Senior NationalPrograms, including municipal and regional programs that supplement these nationalprograms, not one member of the FIFA Executive Committee is female (FIFA, 2006).Similarly, despite the popularity of women’s soccer in Canada, females in leadershippositions are scarce. Although female participation in soccer is now nearly50 percent,only 13 percent of the volunteer administrators at the provincial and national level are16female and at the national level, there are two women on a 21-member Board of Directors(Hall, 2004).This under-representation (and often non-representation) of women in the upperechelons of sports organizations is not only apparent within large international governingentities. In a 1992-93 study, McKay (1999) conducted in-depth interviews with sevenmen and eight women who were current and former members of Sport Canada (theagency responsible for the national funding and planning of amateur sport) and sixwomen with the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport(CAAWS) to examine the barriers to women coaches and managers faced by womeninthe Canadian public service. The study found that in addition to distributional andcategorical issues, disparate relational aspects of gender were discovered.For example,when participants were asked why there were so few women in decision-makingpositions in Sport Canada, almost all the female respondents identified eithertheconventionally masculine climate of sport and/or thestrength of men’s networks(McKay, 1999). When the male respondents wereposed the same question, only onesuggested the importance of predominately male networkswhile the other respondentsattributed women’s underrepresentation to “...‘tradition’,‘society’, ‘natural’ sexualdifferences, or as the normal outcome of meritocraticcompetition.” (McKay, 1999: 199).The traditional notions of gender embedded in the responsesof McKay’s (1999)interview participants demonstrate how the decisionsand experiences that are madewithin the institution of sport are closely linked to notionsof power. Viewing power as arelational concept that works through the actions of people,Foucault argued that powerrelations exist within all human relations whether conversationsbetween friends or an17institutional relationship (Pringle, 2005). It is in this way that Foucault’ s genealogies ofpower are both repressive and productive, operating locally, circulating in the regionaland local institutions of the social body, and emanating from every point in the socialfield (Allen, 1999; Foucault, 1978).In their study of three publicly funded English National Governing Bodies(NGB’s), Shaw and Slack (2002) discussed similar findings on how power and genderrelationships within sports organizations are developed and remain resilient overtime.Using a multiple histories approach to provide an analysisof the historical constructionof power and gender relations Shaw and Slack (2002) examined howgender relationshave developed to favor historically constructed ‘masculinities’expressed by men overthose expressed by women and ‘femininities’ expressedby women and some men. Forexample, the history of one of their participant NGB’s includeda recent merger of twoassociations that had existed for nearly 100 years. Each association cateredto the sportfor each sex, where the men’s association was considered‘professional’ and the women’sassociation was considered ‘volunteer’. Upon merging,women fought to ensure that theywere fairly represented on the newly organized committeesand men worked to ensurethat ‘volunteers’ from the women’s association didnot occupy their paid positions. Thesehistorical discourses surrounding the merger of themen’s and women’s associationsembodied the femininities that are undervalued andthe masculinities that wereconsidered to be ‘important strengths’ within powerand gender relations found withinorganizations today (Shaw & Slack, 2002).Foucauldian notions of power provide a frame ofanalysis from which to examinehow constant decisions being made concerning thefunding and management of the18Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Canadian women’s national program change thelandscape of elite women’s soccer in Canada, and consequently how such changeinfluences the competitive and life experiences of female players and staff within thesport.It is within this literature and these theories about gender and power that thechanging landscape of elite women’s soccer in Canada will be explored. The followingchapter discusses the methodology undertaken for this research project.19Chapter 3MethodologyAs a qualitative inquiry, this study was designed to examine the culture of elitewomen’s soccer in Canada generally, while more specifically addressing the researchgoals outlined in Chapter 2. According to Andrews, Mason, and Silk (2005), a study ofthis kind is significant in that:.the qualitative researcher in sport studies focuses on thequalitativevalues and meanings in the context of a “whole way of life”— a concernabout sport cultures, life —worlds and identities — and therebyprovides anopportunity for the expression of “other” cultures andindeed those fromthe margins in our own cultures.(p. 5)More specifically this project provides a critical analysis ofsome specific aspects ofwomen’s elite soccer in Canada. Through in-depth interviewswith elite female soccerplayers and staff members, this study investigated the“...sites in, and the processes bywhich, ideologies are created, accepted, and challenged,and how they affect the structureof people’s every day lives” (Beal, 2002:364).In the following sections I describe how I selected my researchsample, designedand conducted in-depth interviews and provideinformation on my research protocol andrationale. Following this I discuss my data analysis. Lastly,I discuss some of thelimitations inherent in my study and providea discussion reflecting on my own role inco-constructing the data for this research endeavor.20SampleThe sample of participants was drawn from the pooi of female soccer players andstaff members involved with both the Vancouver Whitecaps FC senior women’s teamandior the Canadian senior women’s national team during the summer and fall of 2006.Using both teams/programs was significant because in addition to Vancouverbeing hometo a W-League franchise (the Whitecaps FC), since 2004 Vancouver has alsobecome thehome base for the Canadian senior women’s nationalteam. As a result, there is aconsiderable amount of overlap of both players and staff members betweenbothteams/programs. For example, somesenior national team players also compete for theVancouver Whitecaps FC team, while some nationalteam staff coaches also coach forthe Whitecaps FC. Thus interview participants drawnfrom these teams/programs wereorganized into two categories; a) players and b)staff members.PlayersThe ‘player’ group consisted of nine adult femaleplayers ranging from the age of25 years to 37 years of age. Allbut one participant identified as Caucasianand mostidentified their marital status as single;two participants identified as married. Eightparticipants had four or more yearsof experience at the W-League level and eachparticipant competed at the universitylevel. Four participants were active nationalteamplayers at the time the interview was conducted.Based on the variations in playing experience,two categories from within theplayer sample emerged; 1) playerswith no national team experience, henceforthreferredto as “competitive players” and 2) players with nationalteam experience, henceforth21referred to as “national team players”. It is important to note here that all subsequentreferences to ‘players’ refers to adult and elite (read: non-recreational and/or non-youth)female players. For the purposes of this research, “elite” is used to demarcate whatwould be considered “professional” in men’s soccer in that the female players train on adaily basis. At present (and at the time of data collection), there is no “professional”women’s soccer league in North America.StaffThe ‘staff member’ group consisted of nine individuals, five males and fourfemales who currently hold (or recently held) a position within either one or both of thetwo teams/programs such as Head and/or Assistant Coach, General Manager, TeamManager, Director of Operations, etc. Each participant identified as Caucasian with agesranging from 35 to 50 years.Research ProtocolParticipant involvement was initially requested in person, by telephone or by email. After a participant expressed interest, I sent an official contact letter (see Appendix1) via electronic attachment or through traditional post. Due to my involvement withinthe soccer community (discussed further below), I had access to many participants’contact information and was able to find additional contact information through officialteam websites. Additionally, upon conclusion of an interview, some participantssuggested that I contact and speak with other individuals they felt would offer insight tothe research project, therefore, some snowball sampling was involved.22Once participation was confirmed, the interview was scheduled for approximatelyone hour in duration and conducted in a place of convenience for the participant;interview sites included personal residences, coffee shops, and work offices. Due todistance, some interviews were conducted over the telephone from both the University ofBritish Columbia and my residential phone.Before each interview, the participant reviewed and signed aresearch informationsheet that explained the purpose of my study, the process and expectation oftheirparticipation, and outlined procedures around confidentialityand ethical presentation oftheir involvement (see Appendix 2). In addition, each participant filledout abiographical information questionnaire at theoutset of each interview (see Appendix 3).Each interview was conducted with an open-endedinterview guide (see Appendix4 and 5) that addressed the participants’ past and presentexperiences in elite women’ssoccer in Canada. At the outset of the interview, I askedeach participant to define, intheir opinion, what “elite-level” soccer meantto them. After commencing the interviewwith an opinion-based question about soccerin general, I then invited each participanttotell her/his “story” (uninterrupted and in detail) abouthow s/he became involved insoccer, when s/he became involved in elite women’ssoccer, and how her/his involvementin elite women’s soccer has changed overthe years.All interviews were recorded on audio-cassette soas not to miss any importantdetails provided by the interviewee. Field notes weretaken immediately after eachinterview in order to capture the non-verbalcues as well as features of the interviewenvironment (Anderson & Jack, 1991). Each participantwas invited to follow-up withme after their interview via telephone ore-mail in the event that they thought of23additional details or responses that they wanted to share, however, no participant pursuedthis option.Following the completion of our interview and my transcription I e-mailed eachparticipant a copy of their transcript and asked that they give formal approval of its use aswell as make corrections/additions where needed (Naples, 2003).Research RationaleIn-depth interviews with 18 participants provide most of the data for this research.Researchers tend to agree that 10-12 participants within a homogenoussample involvedin in-depth interviews provides opportunity for generalthemes to emerge upon whichdata saturation can be reached — the point when additional interviewswill unlikely offernew or different data (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss& Corbin, 1998).The in-depth interviews were conducted betweenSeptember and November 2006,just after the Whitecaps FC season concluded and asthe Canadian women’s nationalteam commenced the Full-Time Player Program heldin Vancouver in preparation for the2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This timeof year resulted in more players and staffmembers being available for participation in the Vancouverarea.Unlike structured interviews that are guided with aset of pre-establishedquestions designed to solicit specific information,a less structured interview provided theparticipant with the opportunity and the time to communicateand re-communicate her/hisresponses (Fontana & Frey, 2003). In this way, as researcherI was able to “listen” towhat the participant was saying and askfor further interpretation or elaboration (if24needed), without concern for having to move on to all the designed questions (Anderson& Jack, 1991).An inquiry of this nature helps to shed light on how soccer has shaped theseplayers’ and staff members’ life experiences, as well as illuminate the changinglandscape of elite women’s soccer in Canada. The technique of interviewingwasessential in providing both the players and staff members with the opportunityto give a“voice” to their experiences from their own frame of reference (Krane, 2001).Tnaddition, in-depth interviewing provided an opportunity forthe researcher to gain insightinto attitudes, perspectives, and meanings of experiencesthat cannot be directly observed(Hammersley & Atkinson, 1995).Finally, in-depth interviews were a significantmethod within this criticalexamination of elite women’s soccer in Canadaas interviews are seen as “a source ofinformation, with the assumption that interviewingresults in true and accurate pictures ofrespondents’ selves and lives” (Fontana & Frey,2003).Data AnalysisThe process of analysis described in thissection was ongoing throughout datacollection, transcription, and secondary research phaseof this project (Hammersley &Atkinson, 1995). After each interview, I transcribedthe audio data into Microsoft Worddocument via transcribing machine in orderto capture as many details while stillfresh/recent.When each participant had reviewed their transcript,multiple readings of thetranscripts were conducted in order to give me the opportunityto look for important25themes/concepts in separate readings -themes/concepts that could potentially have beenoverlooked with just one reading (Mauthner & Doucet, 1998). These multiple readingswere guided by Blumer’s notion of ‘sensitizing concepts’ (Hammersley & Atkinson,1995) allowing concepts to emerge and reveal direction for further/deeper analysis.Upon the completion of 18 interviews, it was clear that useful themes had emerged andno additional interviews were needed that would reveal new/different data.Finally, throughout the process of analysis, the intersectionality of race, class,gender, and sexuality was examined in an attempt to refrain from essentializing theexperiences of players and staff members in elite women’s soccer as representativeof“all” elite female soccer players and staff members in Canada.The experiences I heardabout simply reflect those of a small group’s particular attitudesand perceptions of theirown lived experiences in the domain of elite women’ssoccer.In saying this, I should note that I offered to share my interpretationsand resultswith each participant in the form of my completedthesis in order to gain trust andcredibility (Achebe, 2002), and to avoid interpretiveconflict (Ristock & Pennell, 1996).LimitationsAs researchers we can rarely prepare ourselvescompletely before entering thefield, nor can we expect and/or create perfect circumstancesor settings within which toconduct our research. However, we can attempt to identifyand understand thelimitations that exist at the outset of (and those thatunfold throughout) the project athand.26For example, at the beginning of the data collection phase of this study, I believedthat my involvement as a member of the Whitecaps FC senior women’s team wouldprovide me access to interview participants based on an insider status. As a competitiveplayer, I had cultivated relationships with both players and staff members and thereforegained contact information that I hoped would prove invaluable to my research.Yet my insider status did not remain static due to unique events that transpiredshortly before my first interview, which continued to have an impactthroughout the restof the interviews, data analysis, and writing of this research. Whileit has been noted thatone’s insider/outsider status is always fluid and mustalways be considered (Hill-Collins,1999) throughout the research endeavor, three uniqueevents stand out as having impacton my work as researcher and warrant explicit discussion.As noted above, my status as a competitivesoccer player afforded me some‘insider’ status as a social researcher but it also contributedin no small part to theinception of this research project. Being onthe ‘inside’ as a player, playing with theplayers and for the staff members on the WhitecapsFC and the Canadian national teamwho were directly responsible for and experiencing therecent changes happening in elitelevel women’s soccer in Canada enabled meto see that a research project of this kind wasneeded and feasible; change was clearly happeningand I was surrounded by it.The first unique event occurred two months before myinitial interview when myinvolvement with the Whitecaps FC ended. Aftermy first year as a graduate student,balancing my competitive career with my academicpursuits had become challenging.Halfway through the 2006 season, I reluctantly decidedto discontinue my involvement27with the team and start dealing with the prospect of retiring from my competitive career(Messner, 1992).As a result, in the two months after leaving the team and before commencing myinterviews my status as ‘insider’ changed dramatically. While I still had access to theinterview participants needed for my research based on pre-existing relationships, I wasno longer directly amidst the environment I had once been surrounded by; team meetingswith coaches, conversations with management and physiotherapy staff, informalconversations amongst teammates, as well as access to and participation in on-fieldtraining sessions were no longer at my disposal. The changes that I was previouslyintimately involved with were now observations seen from a distance.In some respects this new transition as ‘insider’ proved advantageous for my workas a social researcher. In her study on mature women students, Janet Parr (1998) writes,“. . .1 wanted what they told me to be their story, not a reflection of my own.” (Parr, 1998,p. 91) Due to my previous proximity to the research topic and the participants, thischange in the dynamic of my perceived ‘insider’ status created a new and perhaps saferdistance where many participants felt they could offer full-disclosure to someone whounderstood the culture/environment but who was now not perceived as a risk.The second unique circumstance surfaced with the simultaneous commencementof my data collection phase and the implementation of the Full-time Player Program(henceforth FTPP). During the months that I conducted my interviews with participants,the FTPP was getting underway in Vancouver. For the first time ever, national teamplayers were provided the opportunity to relocate to Vancouver and focus their energieson soccer in a full-time capacity. This was an exciting and optimistic time for the28athletes and staff members participating in this new program. Only one to two monthsinto the residency camp, the athletes were fit, energies were high, the program was ‘new’,and players were committed to the program. These sentiments were likely reflected inthe interviews conducted with various national team players and staff members duringthis time.Finally, just three weeks before my initial interview a controversy erupted in thesports media contributing to the third and arguably the most significant unique eventthatshaped the data collection phase of my research. The abrupt release of threeveteranplayers from the Canadian women’s national team and theFTPP was covered innewspapers across Canada and on the World Wide Web on most women’ssports andsoccer-specific websites. Prominent Canadian and international women’ssoccer star,Charmaine Hooper, was one of the three veterans released addingto the controversy ofthe event. Over the years, Hooper has contributedto the women’s program in manyways: an 18-year veteran of the team she has been avoice for the players in makingcertain that funding has been made available; she wasinstrumental in assembling aPlayers Committee to demand more financial supportto the players and program inpreparation for the 1999 Women’s World Cup; andafter the birth of her daughter,Hooper made certain that support was provided bythe CSA in the form of on-sitebabysitting during training camps.Due to their release, members of the sports mediaresponded by asking forinterviews with players and staff members causingthe CSA to advise those on thenational team to refrain from participating in any interviewswith the media or discussingthe event with outside members of the program.Though my interviews had been29previously scheduled and explained to be for the purpose of academic research, it becameapparent during some of the interviews that participants were hesitant, cautious, and attimes defensive when discussing the ‘changing landscape’ of elite-level women’s soccerin Canada.The excitement of the implementation of the FTPP, and the release of threeveteran players made public in the media, created a unique time period in which theinterviews were conducted for this research as well as contributing to further distancingmy perceived ‘insider’ status and possibly influencing the dynamic between research andparticipant during the interviews.As well, as knowledge producer and feminist researcher my research isparticularly shaped by my own personal experiences and gender.As a white, 28-year-old, middle-class woman, I have had the “privilege” of having access to andparticipatingin organized sport from a very young age. I was able to participatein soccer and play ina more ‘equality’ -based environment, which affected my sport experiences.My feministtheoretical lens shaped my analysis of the experiencesof female soccer players and staffmembers regarding the changing landscape of women’ssoccer in Canada, and thereforethe knowledge produced here. Disclosing my social locationand identity as a socialresearcher sheds light on how this research was informedand shaped (Ristock & Pennell,1996).Finally, as Hammersley and Atkinson (1995) write,“What is significant... is notjust whether the information published and publicized is true,but what implications itcarries, or what implications it may be taken to carry, aboutthe people studied...”(Hanimersley and Atkinson, 1995,p.271). Though I have taken additional measures30through all phases of this research project to ensure anonymity, based on the nature of theinformation I have collected as well as the specificity of the research sample, fullanonymity cannot be guaranteed.The following chapter uses information gleaned from reports, newspapers andinformation from my respondents to provide a comprehensive historical background tothe Canadian women’s national team program and elite-level women’s soccer in Canadawhich is needed in order to situate the experiences, attitudes and beliefs shared by theparticipants within this study.31Chapter 4Changing LandscapeDespite over 20 years of competition, the history and development of elite-levelwomen’s soccer in Canada and the Canadian women’s national team remains relativelyundocumented. In his book on coaching and leadership, current national team headcoach, Even Pellerud, briefly describes the turbulent state of the Canadian women’snational team program upon accepting his initial contract in 2000 (Kucey, 2005). Otherworks have focused on the participation of female youth (particularly between the ages offive and 14) in community soccer, recent key moments in women’s soccer and theCanadian women’s national team, as well as an introduction to current and up-andcoming national team players (Hall, 2002; Hall, 2004; Hall, 2004).Additionally, the official website for the Canadian Soccer Association( provides a brief history of soccer in Canada by authorandhistorian at the Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum,Cohn Jose, giving a condensedtimeline of soccer’s trajectory in Canada. Beginning in 1876when, “the first games[were] played under “London Association Rules” betweenteams representing theToronto Lacrosse Club and the Carlton Cricket Clubon Parliament Street in Toronto,”the history provides nearly six pages of chronological events pertainingto Canadianmen’s soccer. However, not until the last page and year1995 is the Canadian women’snational team mentioned; “Canada qualified for the finalsof the second FIFA Women’sWorld Cup played in Sweden. The team lost to Englandand Norway and tied withNigeria.”32Though the history of elite-level women’s soccer in Canada and the Canadianwomen’s national team is relatively young in comparison to elite-level men’s soccer, thislimited record-keeping of significant events in the trajectory of women’s soccer isperhaps demonstrative of the manner in which those involved in soccer in Canadaperceive the importance of the women’s game. Excluding the women’s game in thehistorical process deems its existence unworthy and lesser than the men’s game(Hargreaves, 1994), although Cohn Jose does acknowledge that, “much more researchinto the history of the game all across the country needsto be done”.This chapter then, begins the record-keeping processof documenting theinception, development, and significant changes that have occurred in elite-levelwomen’s soccer in Canada. Using information gleaned fromnewspapers and websites,as well as data gathered from in-depth interviews, I havebegun to piece together thehistory of elite-level women’s soccer andthe Canadian women’s national team program,giving voice to an important part of the history of women’ssport in Canada. I begin byexploring the early development of Team Canada whenthe Canadian women’s nationalteam program was first formed in 1986, and painta picture of the initial landscape ofelite-level women’s soccer in Canada. Significant changesto this landscape and thetrajectory of the women’s game in Canada are thendiscussed in subsequent sectionsfocusing on defining moments such as the success of the1999 FIFA Women’s WorldCup tournament, Canada’s hiring of head coach Even Pellerudin 2000 and his immediatesuccess at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament,and the existence of semiprofessional women’s soccer in North America. Additionally,Vancouver’s role inproviding elite-level soccer for Canadian women as wellas the arrival of a private33benefactor to the Canadian women’s national team program will be discussed. Thischapter concludes with a discussion of the Canadian women’s national team program’simplementation of the first ever Full-Time Player Program designed to achieve success atthe 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2008 Olympic Games, both held in Beijing.The Beginnings ofa DreamTn January 1986, Rose Michaels4received a phone call from her fatherto tell herthat Canada was forming a national team. As a rookie softball playerat a well knownUniversity in Western Canada, Rose assumed her fatherwas referring to a softballnational team; “No its for soccer!” he informed her. Withfew organized girl’s youthteams in existence in 1986, Rose’s only exposure to competitivesoccer had been twoseasons with a local women’s team. She hesitatedat the thought of pursuing a nationalteam program for soccer but when her father remarked, “Whynot, what’s it going to hurtyou?” she decided to take a chance. After that phone call, Rosespent every weekendtraveling 40 km to Richmond to train witha group of women that would form Team BCand then travel to Winnipeg in July for thefirst ever Canadian national women’s all-starsoccer championship (Toronto Star, 1986).For the first time, Canada’s national governingbody for soccer, the CanadianSoccer Association (CSA) invited eight provincialteams from British Columbia, Alberta,Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, andNewfoundland, all boasting the topplayers from each province, to Winnipeg to competein a national championship event forwomen (Hall, 2004). This national championship eventserved as a scouting ground forAll participants have been assigned pseudonymsto protect anonymity.34the first tryout camp for the Canadian women’s national team. From this event, a part-time coaching staff, led by head coach Neil Tumbull from Alberta, selected 24 womentoremain in Winnipeg for an extended training camp (Davidson, 1986). Ten days later,16players were selected for the first Canadian women’s national team and Rose was amongthem. The players chosen to remain in Winnipeg for the tryout and subsequenttrainingcamp were housed in the residences at the University of Winnipeg where theyhad accessto the institution’s fields and food provided by residence.Outside of food andaccommodations, the players were providedlittle else; travel costs were not covered,daily per diem was not provided, nor were additional itemsof equipment given to theplayers. As one participant noted, “The outfits werea complete joke! [But] we were justproud to wear the Canadian jersey, it wasawesome, right? Don’t get me wrong it wasanunbelievable feeling, but... the tracksuits thatthey gave us were way too big, they wereso unattractive and hokie, [and] no boots, nothinglike that.” Of course at this time, manyof the players were just happy to be selectedto remain in Winnipeg.The result of this first training camp wasa twenty-hour bus ride to Minneapolis inthe United States where Team Canada competed againstTeam U.S.A in two “friendlies”5(Hall, 2004). After losing 0-2 on July7, Canada won the next game, 2-1, twodays later.With limited funds to start the program, TeamCanada’s trip to the U.S. was short, butsweet; players returned home with excitementand determination to represent theircountry as female soccer players. This determination,for Rose and many other players,manifested itself in a major life decision;Rose resigned from her varsity softballteamInternational “Friendlies” are matches heldbetween countries as ‘exhibition’ gamesinthat the outcome does have any bearing on dis/qualificationfor any official FIFA orOlympic event. However, the outcome isrecorded and used as part of an elaboratemeasuring system that determines acountry’s position in the official FLFA rankings.35giving up her scholarship, joined the varsity soccer team and never looked back. Thatfall, the national team coaching staff mailed ‘report cards’ to each of the players outliningtheir strengths and weaknesses and assigning areas where players could improve. Inorder to rise to the level of international competition, players were given trainingpackages where details regarding resting heart rate, distances ran, weight used in strengthtraining, etc. were recorded and submitted to the staff. Players competed with theirvarsity teams (if still in university) and club teams, trained with men’s teams, andcommitted to individual training in order to meet these standards (Toronto Star, 1986;Hall, 2004).In the beginning, training opportunities and games were limitedand oftenscheduled many months apart (Hall, 2004). After their inauguralroad trip, it was anotherfive months before Team Canada met again for a training campheld over the Christmasholidays in 1986. Then, six months later, in June 1987,Team Canada met for threegames back in Minneapolis for the North AmericanCup. Here, they lost all three of theirmatches, twice to the U.S. and once to Sweden ( Decemberof that year, the CSA sent an 18-member squad on their first-everoverseas trip to Taipeiand Kaohsiung to compete in the 12-team Taiwan Cup women’ssoccer tournament. Thetour cost a reported $40,000 and each one of the 27players selected to report for trainingat CFB Esquimalt on November 30, 1987 was asked to raise$1,500 to contribute to thebudget (Da Costa, 1987). For example, the Port Moody SoccerClub, Rotary Club andlocal Safeway grocery store raised $1,500 to send then-TeamCanada captain, GeriDonnelly, overseas (Hall, 2004). Once there, TeamCanada played six matches, winningtheir first game against Hong Kong (2-0), losingtheir second and third matches to36Australia (0-2) and Taiwan (0-2), drawing their fourth match with Australia (0-0), andlosing their fifth and sixth matches to the United States (0-4) and New Zealand (0-1) (TheGazette, 1987).This training pattern persisted for almost a decade; Team Canada would meet (ina training camp setting) before competing internationally in friendly matches ortournaments only when funding was available. Women’s soccer at the elite-level was stillemergent, and with a reported annual budget of $12,000 provided by the CSA to thewomen’s national team program in 1986, these international friendly matches andtournaments were rare (Davidson, 1986). Additionally, at this time, the position of headcoach of the women’s national team program was part-time, thus preventing the coachingstaff from focusing all of their time and resources to the development of the program.Technology at this time was also ‘slower’ than today in that e-mail was not availabletocommunicate quickly/daily with players, staff, or admimistrators. Postal serviceand long-distance phone calling was an administrative expenseas well as a more time consumingmode of communication and organization. Add to this the sizeof Canada as a countryand the fact that most of Team Canada’s players were spread apartby thousands ofkilometres. For example, of the 27 players brought into campin order to be selected forCanada’s first international tour (the Taiwan Cup) nine were from Ontario, sevenfromAlberta, four each from British Columbia and Quebec, two from Nova Scotia andonefrom Saskatchewan (Da Costa, 1987).Due to infrequent camps players had to continue their own trainingregimeindependently and since carding money was not yet providedby Sport Canada towomen’s soccer, all the costs associated in maintaining anelite-level training schedule37were absorbed by the players and their families. Costs such as appropriate equipment,gym memberships, travel, time away from worklschool, proper nutrition, and adequateathletic physiotherapy created ever increasing expenses for competing on theinternational stage of soccer for Canada.These technological, geographical, and economical factors confined the Canadianwomen’s national team program to few training camps and fewer internationalmatches,drastically limiting the opportunity for adequate international development.Competitive Women ‘s Soccer Around the WorldSimultaneously, other countries around the world were also carvingout a placefor women’s soccer. Teams, leagues, and all-female organizationswere forming toaccommodate the increasing participation of female youthand women in soccer. Incountries such as Germany, Norway, Denmark, England,and China, women were takingup space on the soccer pitches traditionally reserved formale players (Hong & Mangan,2004). As previously discussed (above), conservativenotions of gender and sexualityserved as barriers to the emergence of women’s soccerin a traditionally male domain(Hargreaves, 1994; Hall, 2002; Williams, 2003). However,despite these barriers,athletes, coaches, administrators, and organizationsinvolved in girls and women’s soccerpushed for national team opportunities, forcing their malecounterparts to make room forfemale soccer (Hong & Mangan, 2004; Williams, 2003).In June 1988, having recognized the growth of women’ssoccer to be persistentand global, FIFA decided to sponsor a ‘demonstration’Women’s World Cup inGuangzhou, China and invited Team Canada to participatein the 12-country tournament38alongside Australia, Brazil, England, France, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Norway,Thailand, the United States, and the host country, China (Hudson, 1988). In preparationfor this first-ever FIFA sanctioned international women’s competition, Team Canadatrained for only three weeks before leaving for China, therefore making the training camp“intense”. One participant recalled, “. . .we trained three times a day and finally we werejust exhausted!” Already fatigued, Team Canada flew to China where they competedinfour matches in just eight days, losing their opening match against China (0-2), beatingthe Ivory Coast (6-0) in their second match, drawing their third matchagainst Norway (1-1), and losing their final match to Sweden (1-0). Despite TeamCanada’s own results,FIFA deemed the tournament a great success.FIFA Embraces Women’s International SoccerPleased with the success of the 1988 TaiwanCup, FIFA fully sanctioned the firstever Women’s World Cup tournament hostedby China, in November 1991. In order toqualify for a FIFA Women’s World Cup and Olympic Gamesevent, Team Canada has tocompete in qualifying tournaments hosted by theConfederation for North, CentralAmerican and Caribbean Association Football(CONCACAF). These qualifyingtournaments are sometimes held a year to several monthsbefore the world event takesplace with each of the participating countries competingin a round-robin tournament inan attempt to secure a spot in the final match. Typically,both countries reaching the finalmatch secure a berth into the upcoming tournament.However, in the inauguralqualifying tournament, the CONCACAF Championshipsheld in April 1991, only the39champion of the tournament qualified for the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup inNovember.During the tournament, Team Canada secured four wins against Costa Rica (6-0),Jamaica (9-0), Haiti (2-0), and Trinidad & Tobago (6-0) to advance to the final match.However, a loss to the United States (0-6) denied Team Canada a berth in the first everFIFA Women’s World Cup. Consequently, the Canadian women’s national teamprogram was placed in an unofficial temporary hiatus only to resume in June 1993 undera new head coach, Sylvie Béliveau from Quebec. She too was hired in the same part-timecapacity with a limited budget that restricted development (Kucey, 2005).With Béliveau in August 1994, Team Canada qualified for the second FIFAWomen’s World Cup hosted by Sweden in 1995. The CSA responded to TeamCanada’squalification with a surge of money into the women’s program, making Béliveau’sposition full-time and enabling her to focus on the upcomingWWC (Hall, 2004; Kucey,2005). However, despite the provision of last minute funding,Team Canada’spreparation for this prestigious event was poorly designed. An intensepreparation phasestarted in the spring of 1995, where one participant remembered, “Inthose three monthsthat we were gone, we went through 52 time zones. We were in France,we were inJapan, we were down South, we were back East, [and]we were in Denmark, [all] justbefore the World Cup.” In addition to this amount of traveling,there were times whenthe players were forced to train despite fatigue and jetlag. One participantrecalled a timewhen the team was ordered not to sleep after a long flightback to Canada from Japan.Instead, they were called to a training session where they were askedto train a fullsession in the hope of battling the effects of travel.40Thus it was an exhausted Team Canada that arrived in Sweden in June for theirfirst appearance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament. Team Canada lost toEngland (2-3) and Norway (0-7), but tied Nigeria (3-3) and in the end, placed lO’ out of12 teams. At this time, the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup event simultaneously servedas qualification for the inaugural presentation of women’s soccer at the 1996 OlympicGames in Atlanta. However, only the top eight teams from the WWC advanced to theOlympics, leaving Team Canada out of the Olympic “dream”. Béliveau was releasedashead coach and Team Canada returned home to again experienceanother unofficialtemporary hiatus. They did not compete in another internationalmatch for a full calendaryear.It is important to note here that previously, Sport Canada had approvedthe CSA’sapplication to include the women’s national team inthe Athlete Assistance Program(AAP). The AAP provides federal fundingin the form of a monthly stipend tointernational competitors based on a cardingsystem (A-, B-, and C- cards) that at onetime was determined by an individualathlete’s experience and world ranking withintheirsport. Tn March 1995, prior to Team Canada’sfirst WWC appearance, and for the firsttime since 1984, Sport Canada announceda 25% increase to the AAP (Christie, 1995).Beginning in April, top A-carded athletesreceived an increase to $810 a month from$650, B-carded athletes went to $685 from $550 and thosewith less experience at the Ccard level went to$560 from $450 (The Ottawa Citizen,1995)6.Tnformation about6According to the Sport Canada website, it isthe responsibility of the National SportingOrganization (in this case the CSA) to providea list of all carded athletes. I have notbeen able to locate this information, nor isit on the CSA website, and therefore donothave knowledge of how many national team playerswere receiving money and at whatcard-level.41which national team players received this funding and at what card-level is notavailable.Yet while this financial support was more than the women on Team Canada had receivedin the past, one participant noted, “By the same token, we hadto request leaves from ourwork and [although] our [employers] were great and [granted our leaves] they couldn’thonor us our pay.” By the time Team Canada departed for Sweden, players hadrequested up to three months of unpaid leave from theirrespective employers. In the end,the CSA came through after the WWC tournamentby giving each of the 18 players onthe team $1,000 for all their expenses, efforts, andsacrifices.Limited financial support for the players, poor schedulingin preparation forInternational competitions, no full-time CoachingStaff, and lengthy periods of unofficialtemporary hiatus made it incredibly difficult for thoseinvolved in elite-level women’ssoccer to lay the foundations of developing and strengtheninga consistent long-termCanadian women’s national team program. In the future,many changes would be neededin order for Team Canada to earn a spot on the worldstage of soccer, and stay there.1999 FIFA Women ‘s World CupA major impetus to change occurred in 1999 when90,185 spectators filled theRose Bowl in Pasadena, California, to watch the UnitedStates women’s national teamplay the Chinese women’s national team in the Gold Medalmatch for the third FIFAWomen’s World Cup tournament (Longman, 2000).However, with the Canadian women’s nationalteam program in active statusagain and back under the leadership of Neil Turnbill, TeamCanada again faced troublesin preparing a strong squad for the third FII’A Women’sWorld Cup tournament hosted42by the United States. One player recalls, “The World Cup was in June and we started[preparing] in Victoria in May... There were a lot of decisions that led to lots offrustration on the team.” Part of this frustration started in 1998 prior to the WWC year.Rumors were circulated that players within the Canadian men’s national team programwere receiving compensation in the form of appearance fees, amounting to$10,000annually, a significant amount more than any remuneration players within the Canadianwomen’s national team program had ever received.In response to these rumors, a few veteran players on Team Canada, includingwell-established player Charmaine Hooper, created an informal ‘Players Committee’toenter into discussions with the CSA in an attempt to receive appropriate financialcompensation. In justifying the formation of the Players Committee, oneplayer recalled,“We’re coming up to our qualifications, and our World Cup, andwe [were not] lookingfor anything like a pay cheque per game, but we [were] looking for someof thecompensation for time missed from work, from school, for allthe sacrifices. You know,over and above the [carding money] per month.” Minutes froma 1998 CSA Board ofDirectors Meeting suggests that the Players Committee’s issues andconcerns wereunderstood and taken seriously:The Director of Finance advised that the Women’s Team has requestedacompensation package much higher than what presently appears in thebudget. Members of the women’s team have, in the past, receiveda bonusfor winning a ‘tournament’ not an appearance fee per game. Itwas notedthat the Men’s senior team receives compensation (appearance fees)aswell as a bonus for points. The Women’s Team is presentlylobbying forfair treatment based on gender-equity. This issue will be negotiatedbeforethe Women’s International Championships schedule forthe summer of1999. The Board agreed that the Women’s Team did needa new contractand to be treated with fairness.43However despite this apparent mutual agreement that the women’s national team did infact need a new contract and expected to be treated “with fairness”, discussions betweenmembers of the Players Committee and the Executive Committee of the CSA went backand forth for some time before finally reaching a stalemate. Unable to continuediscussions on their own, the Players Committee decidedto seek legal council in anattempt to strengthen their negotiations. According to one participant recalling thenegotiation process, dealing with the CSA was, “not pleasant at all” andvery,“unprofessional”: “I found [the CSA’s] negotiating tobe unrealistic... [They] would geteasily angered... then it would be cut off... [they] were hanging upphones, that sort ofthing.”In the end, with negotiations still unresolved, Team Canadaperformed poorly atthe WWC, drawing with Japan (1-1), and losingto Norway (1-7) and Russia (1-4).Dealing with the disappointment and frustration ofnot advancing out of their group,Hooper publicly lambasted the CSA’s lackof support for the women’s national team.The CSA responded aggressivelyand withdrew several veteran athletes from the AAP,stripping them of their carding money,and citing “declining personal performance,contribution to poor team chemistry and advancing age.”(Kucey, 2005)Ironically, while Team Canada was forcedto fight tooth and nail in an attempttoconvince the CSA that the Canadian women’s nationalteam program was deserving ofincreased financial support, a well-fundedTeam U.S.A. proved just how powerfulwomen’s soccer truly is.One 90-minute match changed the landscape of elite-levelwomen’s soccer in theU.S. and around the world; Team U.S.A.’s performanceand win was instrumental in44making the growth and development of women’s soccer visible on a global scaleHeywood & Dworkin, 2003, Markovits & Hellerman, 2003). Now, not only thoseparticipating in soccer at the local, provincial, and national levels were aware of the risingpopularity in women’s soccer, but sports’ fans outside of soccer and around the worldwere taking notice. The gold-medal match between U.S.A. and China raised awarenessof the level of women’s international competition and tempted countries around the worldto follow suit.A Fresh Start in 2000The Canadian Soccer Association responded quickly to the new media attentionbeing given to women’s soccer around the world and tookaction in a way they had neverdone in the past for the women’s program; they hired an internationallyrenowned full-time head coach. In hiring Norwegian Even Pellerud, theCSA funded a position wherethe head coach’s main responsibility was to bring new leadership tothe women’sprogram and focus solely on its developmentat the Senior and Youth levels. Oneparticipant said, “.. . it was amazing that theCSA actually showed that initiative to hiresomeone internationally, and obviously someone whocost a lot of money to get here.They were willing to put that kind of money into the women’sside of the program, and Ithink that was the start for Canadian Soccer.”Pellerud’s impact on the program was immediate. First he contractedto workwith the players a minimum of 90 days per year andhave them compete in at least 12international matches per year. By doing so he wasensuring two things; that he wouldhave a realistic impact on the development of the program,and that for perhaps the first45time he “committed the CSA to have an attitude towards supporting the [women’s]program” (Kucey, 2005). Additionally, Pellerud sought to acquire increased funds formore full-time staff and create more youth development teams. To bring the teamtogether more often and accommodate a year-round outdoor training environmentPellerud moved the program to Vancouver.Coincident with Pellerud’ s demand for increased funding for more full-time staff,FII’A decided to organize a U19 FIFA World Cup tournament in 2002 bringing evenmore attention to women’s soccer at the grassroots and youth levels. This put pressure onthe CSA and other NSO’s alike to increase funds for their existing youth teams (or tostart youth team programs). Previously, the Canadian women’s national team programhad had a junior national team program, but like the senior team funding was limited andsporadic causing the program to be inconsistent. In addition to FIFA’s announcement,Canada was declared the host country for the inaugural U19 FWA World Cup, doublingthe pressure on the CSA to provide adequate funding for the Canada’s youth program.Pellerud used this event as the platform for acquiring another full-time coach, and hiredhis assistant coach of the senior team, Ian Bridge, as head coach for the U19 youth team.Shortly afterwards, Shel Brodsgaard was hired as full-time Goalkeeper Coach for allteams within the program. In this way, Pellerud was securing more human resources tosupport the overall development of the Canadian women’s national team program.The benefit of youth teams to any program is to prepare prospective athletes forthe mental, physical, and emotional requirements of international competition. As headcoach of the Canadian women’s national team program, one of Pellerud’s most importanttasks has been to implement a successful system of play that all players within the46program adhere to. Because the process of identifying prospective national team playersis on-going, frequently bringing in new players from outside the program can bedisruptive for the overall development of a program and team. Now, with a well-fundedU19 youth team in place receiving direction from the assistant coach of the senior team,Pellerud could ensure that his direction and system of play were being properlyimplemented and that, where necessary the transition for a youth player to the seniorteam would be seamless. One participant agreed, “...start[ing] programsfor the youthnational teams made a huge impact because the players, instead of being invitedto train[directly] with the senior national team, came in [through theyouth national teams]...when they [finally] came with the [senior nationalteam] they were more prepared...they’re even younger and more experienced...”As a result, the Canadian Ui 9 national team broughtimmense success towomen’s soccer in Canada enticing almost 50,000 spectatorsto the CommonwealthStadium in Edmonton to watch Canada compete against theU.S.A. in the Gold Medalmatch (Hall, 2004; Brodsgaard & Mackin, 2005).Iii a heart-wrenching period ofovertime, Canada lost to the U.S. but captured the hearts ofthousands of Canadiansporting fans and confirmed to the CSA the importanceof their support for Canada tosucceed on the world stage of soccer.In addition to securing more full-time staff and layingthe framework for a strongyouth program, Pellerud was able to immediately increase TeamCanada’s internationalcompetition schedule. Since the team’s inception in 1986until 2000, Team Canadaaveraged 5.64 International matches a year for a totalof 79 games in 14 years. SinceTn 2004, FIFA changed the U19 World Cup toU20.472000, Team Canada’s average of international matches played annually has more thandoubled, averaging 11.37 annually for a total of 91 games in 8 years.A quick review ofinternational matches best illustrates the immediate impact Pellerud had on the women’snational team program; by augmenting the number of annual international matches, hewas able to bring Team Canada into training camp more frequently, providing increasedopportunity for development and coaching. Additionally, more internationalmatchesgave Canada the opportunity to increase their official FLFA ranking. Not only didPellerud secure more games for Canada to play, he was able to schedule gameswithsome of the leading countries in the world. By 2001 he had secureda friendly series oftwo matches with Germany, and in 2002 invited Norway and Australiato compete onCanadian soil. In hosting these competitive international matchesat home, Pellerud andthe CSA attempted to ride the wave of increased popularityand visibility of women’ssoccer that flowed from both the U.S.A’s success in ‘99 as wellas Canada’s success in2002. Pellerud’s hard work to increase the profile ofelite-level women’s soccer inCanada was paying off.After the U19 youth team’s success in Edmonton in 2002,Pellerud’s immediateimpact on elite-level women’s soccer in Canada was demonstratedagain at the 2003FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament in theUnited States. Despite losing their firstgame to Germany (4-1), Team Canada went on to beat Argentina(3-0) and Japan (3-1) toadvance out of their group. In an amazing quarter-finalmatch, Team Canada shocked theworld by beating China (1-0) to advance to the semi-finalsof the World Cup. In a well8Statistics are based on officially recorded InternationalGame Results for Team Canadaprovided by the Canadian Soccer Association’s official website,accessed January 25,2008 and not including the matches held in 2008. Thesenumbers do not includeexhibition games.48fought match, Canada was unable to secure a win against Sweden, losing 2-1 andadvancing to the third/fourth place match against Team U.S.A. Although losing 3-1 tothe U.S.A., Canada left the 2003 FIFA World Cup in fourth place overall. It was anamazing success that confirmed the immense potential Canada has within the sport ofsoccer.Riding on this success, Team Canada went on to compete in the 2004CONCACAF Olympic Qualifications and beat Jamaica and Panama 6-0, respectively,then Costa Rica (2-1) to advance to the semi-finals. Winning the semi-final match andsecuring a spot in the finals would at last ensure Team Canadaa chance at Olympiccompetition. Unfortunately, Team Canada suffered a devastating loss to Mexico(2-1),shattering Olympic dreams and aspirations.Despite not qualifying for the 2004 Olympics in Athens however, Pellerudandthe Canadian women’s national team had achieved enoughsuccess to ensure that theCSA would not put the program on another temporary hiatus.Team Canada had tastedsuccess and now, more than ever, Pellerud was motivatedto continue developing theprogram. He renewed his contract with the CSA for anotherfive years and set out tocontinue preparations for the next FIFA Women’s WorldCup (2007) and OlympicGames (2008) cycle — both events to be held in Beijing,China. As a testament toPellerud’s efforts, one participant declared:I think he is 100% responsible for turning women’s soccer in Canada right around. Youlookback to when he came in, in 2000, and even talking to the girlsthat were in the program beforehe arrived, its just so incredibly different. And he has, you know,he has gotten results andtherefore has been given more funding and that’s a constant battle for him. .. .he‘s actually thefirst coach that has come in and demanded and gotten a fractionof what he’s asked for but atleast he’s gotten stuff and I mean, phenomenal coach, and battling,day in and day out for thewomen. He’s done wonders for [women’s soccer]. (Arli)49Outside the Canadian Women ‘s National Team ProgramIt is important to note that the Canadian women’s national team program was notthe only program within elite-level women’s soccer to respond to the success andpopularity resulting from Team U.S.A.’s gold medal win in 1999. In the spring of 2000,Chairman and CEO of Discovery Communications, John Hendricks, along with corporateinvestors such as Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast Corporation,founded the Women’s United Soccer Association (WTJSA) with an initial stake of$40million. The WUSA was organized and funded as a single entity business structurewhere club operators owned a financial stake in the league itself, not just their individualteam, and where player contracts where owned by the league and not the teams. Attheoutset of the WLTSA, the league signed all 20 players from the champion TeamU.S.A,including Mia Hanim, Julie Foudy, and Tiffeny Milbrett, as ‘founding players’withequity shares in the league. The inaugural seasonwas launched in 2001, with playersalaries set at a yearly minimum of $27,000 and a maximumof $85,000, and the leagueconsisting of eight teams located throughout the UnitedStates (Markovits & Hellerman,2003). Pre-season training often began in Februarywith regular season playcommencing in April and culminating in a four-team playoffto determine the FoundersCup league championship. The Team U.S.A. founding playerswere originallydistributed amongst the eight franchises to ensurecompetitive disparity within the league.Additionally, each team could sign up to four Internationalplayers to their roster,attracting top competitors from countries all over theworld (Glier, n.d.). Some topCanadian players also secured roster spots in the WUSAwith Silvana Burtini playing oneseason with the Carolina Courage, Amy Walsh playing oneseason with the Bay Area50CyberRays, Karma LeBlanc playing for the Boston Breakers, and Sharolta Nonen andCharmaine Hooper playing for the Atlanta Beat (Hall, 2004).Unfortunately the WUSA folded after the 2003 season due to financial constraintsand was reportedly $16 million in the red. Although the league had an averageattendance of 6,667 per game, these numbers were a 4.2% decline from the 2002 season.Even though several players took pay cuts prior to the final season, WUSAcould notmake up for the decline in average attendance and shortfall in sponsorships (Hersch&Bechtel, 2003). Consequently, the end of the WUSA either markedthe end of manywomen’s playing careers or forced aspiring players to seek other competitiveteams andleagues to play in so they could remain elite. Fortunately(and perhaps as a result ofWUSA’s overall success) other countries like Norway, Sweden,Denmark, France,England, and Germany had strengthened the infrastructureof their semi-professionalwomen’s leagues and were eager to attract ‘big-name’players to their clubs. Forexample, both France’s Marinette Pichon and England’sKelly Smith, team-mates fromthe Philadelphia Charge, remained in theU.S. after the WUSA folded to play for the WLeague’s (see below) New Jersey Wildcats,then, returned to France (Pichon) in 2004 toplay for Juvisy FCF and England (Smith) in 2004to play for Arsenal ( star, Birgit Prinz, played for the Carolina Couragethen returned home in 2003 tocompete with 1. FFC Frankfurt in the Frauen-Bundelisgawithin the Deutscher FuBallBund ( The Atlanta Beat’s Sun Wenfrom China temporarily retired afterthe WUSA folded but resumed play in 2005 withinthe Asian Football Confederation.51The Carolina Courage’s Hege Ruse also returned home to compete within the FootballAssociation ofNorway9.Alternatively, many players stayed in the U.S.A. and Canada, flooding twoexisting amateur leagues, the Women’s League (W-League) and the Women’s PremierSoccer League (WPSL)’°. The demise of the WUSA made the W-League and the WPSLthe highest level of competition available to women in Canada and the United Statesoutside national team development and collegiate competition11.Yet the overall level ofcompetition within these amateur leagues remains considerably lower than once offeredby the WUSA. While the purpose of this chapter is not to discuss all amateur femalesoccer within North America, it is important to examine the specific structure of the WLeague and the WPSL, in order to understand the changing landscape of elite-levelwomen’s soccer in Canada in its appropriate context. Thus, the next section brieflydescribes the structure of the amateur W-League and the WPSL, offering an explanationfor their overall limited levels of competition and describing obstacles that pose asbarriers to their competitive development.An extensive search to track the whereabouts of ex-WUSA players turned up littleinformation, reiterating what is already well documented in scholarly research: women’ssports and female athletes are under-represented in sports media (for example Carty,2005; Knoppers & Elling, 2004, and Duncan, 1990). Details regarding particular playerswere gained from insider knowledge and confirmed by information found However, it is acknowledged that is not a scholarlyreference and therefore prone to misinformation.10Both of these leagues consider themselves to be “semi-professional” but are notpublicly able to identify as such (e.g., through marketing) due to NCAA Bylaw 12 onAmateurism discussed below.By making this reference to “women”, I am speaking of the post inter-collegiateathlete, approximately 22 years of age and older.52Amateur Soccer within Canada and the United StatesThat the W-League and WPSL have a marked lower level of competition thanonce offered in the WUSA is due in part to the fact that both leagues are stronglyinfluenced by collegiate sport in both Canada and the United States; mainly NationalCollegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition in the United States. Thepopularity and importance of collegiate sport has shaped the W-League and the WPSL intwo main ways; 1) duration of league competition; and 2) league operation as amateur,and as a result contributes to the leagues’ overall lower levelof competition.First, while the W-League and the WPSL consist of 40 and 26 teamsrespectively,boasting approximately 1,500 annual competitive roster spots, it isestimated by leagueofficials that 50% of women on these teamsare intercollegiate athletes’2.Sinceapproximately half of W-League and WPSL players compete for theirpost-secondaryinstitutions, they are committed to the intercollegiatefall and spring soccer seasons (fromapproximately August to April). Thus the W-league and WPSL regularseason isscheduled in the summer, commencing in early Mayand concluding after playoffs in thefirst two weeks of August, resulting in a very shortcompetitive season.Secondly, since an estimated 50% of those competingin either the W-League orthe WPSL are intercollegiate athletes, under NCAA Bylaw12 on Amateurism, they mustmaintain their amateur status during all competition’3.For example, as a prospective12There are no official statistics of college vs. non-collegeaged players provided by theleague, however this estimate was given by the W-League Director ina telephoneconversation (November, 2005).‘This NCAA policy is of profound importance becauseof the fact that the NCAA is“the” governing body of all intercollegiate athletics. Also,like men’s football andbasketball, and women’s basketball, intercollegiatesoccer is highly competitive and seen53and/or current student-athlete Bylaw 12 stipulates that you cannot compete with afranchise or within a league that deems itself ‘semi-Professional’ or ‘Professional’, norcompete with a team-mate who is considered ‘semi-Professional’ or ‘Professional’, noraccept payment for one’s sport talent (deeming one ‘semi-Professional or ‘Professional’)(NCAA Operations Manual, 2005-06: 69-84). Thus elite-level players and franchiseswithin these amateur leagues are limited in their ability to become more professional andtherefore more competitive. For example, for a franchise to demand that its players trainevery day, they need to provide adequate remuneration. Doingso, however, constitutesthe league, the franchise, and the player as “professional”therefore excluding allcollegiate players (which, as stated above, accounts foran approximate 50% of playerswithin both leagues). Hence, elite-level adult playerswithin the W-League and theWPSL cannot be paid for playing competitive soccer and aretherefore pursuing theirplaying careers with little financial support.These two major characteristics shape the landscape of elite-levelwomen’s soccerin most of North America. The fact that themost competitive environment available forelite female soccer players in Canada and the UnitedStates, upon graduation from postsecondary education, amounts to a regular season ofjust threemonths is detrimental to aplayer’s long-term development. When student-athletes within theleagues return toschool at the end of the season they are training and competing ina consistentlycompetitive environment for an additional ninemonths. Meanwhile, the elite adultas a stepping-stone, or breeding ground, for the professionallevel. A thorough discussionof this will be included in my final thesis.54players are left with few competitive environments in which to train and compete on ayear-round basis14Consistently training and competing on a year-round basis is imperative forathletes to ensure optimum development throughout their career (Coaches Report, 2001).Istvan Balyi, a leading expert on planning and periodization and on short- and long-termperformance programming, notes that scientific research suggests that it takes eight to 12years of training for a talented athlete to reach elite levels. Described as the “10-year or10,000 hour rule”, talented athletes should train slightly more than three hoursdaily for10 years (Coaches Report, 2001). From this perspective, the currentinfrastructure of theW-League and WPSL, each with a three-month-long season, provide limitedopportunities for serious and talented athletes to ensure ‘optimum development’in theircareers. When the W-League or WPSL seasons concludeafter three months, bothNational Team and competitive players must find alternative teams andleagues to playfor as well as additional training resources to maintaintheir elite-level performancecapability.The W-League and the WPSL both have stable infrastructuresthat support andprovide student-athletes with competitive, high-leveltraining environments in betweentheir collegiate seasons. Yet because of their amateur status and shortseasons (thataccommodate NCAA competition), these leagues andtheir franchise owners are unableto provide a more long-term infrastructure with adequate financialsupport that wouldensure optimum development of elite adult players.This shapes the development of14A small number of these players do compete overseas(where the leagues are structureddifferently with little influence from University athletics)or internationally for theirNational Teams. However, this number is extremely small.55elite-level women’s soccer in both Canada and the United States at the national teamlevel because instead of achieving optimal training and development on a consistent basisthroughout the year at the club level, the responsibility of providing this competitive,year-round, environment falls on the national team programs’5.Fortunately for the Canadian women’s national team program, a passionate soccerfan and committed supporter, Greg Kerfoot, purchased the Vancouver WhitecapsFootball Club (WFC) in 2002 with the hope of taking competitive soccer in Canada in anew direction. Examining the role of the WFC is important to understand the changinglandscape of elite-level women’s soccer in Canada. As one of five Canadian franchiseswith teams in the W-League, Canadian elite-level players (like their Americancounterparts) participate in the league during and after varsitycompetition in order toremain competitive players. The next section describes the relationshipbetween theVancouver Whitecaps FC women’s team and the Canadian women’snational team andthe role this relationship has played in changing the landscapeof elite-level women’ssoccer in Canada.The Vancouver Whitecaps FCIn August 2000, Dave Stadnyk purchased the 86ers, Vancouver’s onlyprofessional men’s soccer club, and changed the franchise nameback to the Whitecaps’6.‘The scope of this statement cannot be explored in this thesisbut it is significant inunderstanding the obstacles faced by countries likeCanada and the United States indeveloping elite-level women’s soccer after varsity competition.16The Whitecaps sport franchise originated in 1974 and competedin the North AmericanSoccer League (NASL) until it folded in 1984 due to league instability( In 1986 the 86ers were launchedwith the franchise competingin the professional Canadian Soccer League (CSL). In 1992,the 86ers moved from the56That same year, Stadnyk introduced a women’s team, the Breakers, to W-leaguecompetition and appointed Vancouver-based, Dave Dew, as volunteer head coach.Affiliated with the Whitecaps and competing in the North American W-League, theBreakers became the most competitive women’s team in the Vancouver area and as suchattracted a number of national team players and aspiring competitive athletes to theroster.Like the beginnings of the Canadian women’s national team program in 1986,Dew had few resources and limited funds with which to develop the competitivewomen’s team. For the first few seasons, players and coaches committed to threetraining sessions a week with little to no support for travel foodand accommodation.Physiotherapy was provided by local volunteer physiotherapists andwas inconsistent. Asvolunteers, the coaching staff had other primary careersthat needed their full attentionand therefore were unable to put the time and energy neededinto providing an adequatecompetitive training environment for the players on the Breakers.Despite these limited resources, players were excitedto have a competitivewomen’s team to play for. One participant remembered,“I think we all felt really luckyabout having this new level of play for women. Themen were being paid on the otherside but as far as I was concerned I didn’t mind notbeing paid, I wasn’t even consideringgetting paid, Ijust thought, ‘this is great, we’re playingin a kind of professional league,they’re advertising us on the radio and the news and they’re makinga lot of noise aboutus.’ That was pretty exciting for all of us!”floundering CSL to the American Professional SoccerLeague (APSL) and in 1997 theAPSL became what is now the A-League under the UnitedSoccer Leagues.57Soon, due to significant financial losses, the USL took over the rights to thefranchise and created a search committee to seek new ownership( Tn November 2002, Greg Kerfoot, a Vancouver-basedmillionaire, purchased the Whitecaps bringing the men’s, women’s, and youth teamstogether as the Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club (WFC).When Kerfoot purchased the WFC his goal was not only to keep competitivesoccer alive in Vancouver but to take it in a new direction. He immediately set out tocreate a more professional and competitive training environment for elite players and thatincluded the women’s and youth programs as well as the men’s program.Like Pellerud, Kerfoot recognized the importance of providing a consistenttraining environment for competitive players. He created this environment by providingincreased access to quality training facilities and physiotherapy resources, providingliving accommodations for out-of-town players for the durationof the season,compensating local players with gas/mileage, and eventually hiringa full-time staff forthe women’s side of the club.Although these changes within the women’s program did not occur allat once, thecommitment to change was immediately visible; oneof the first changes Kerfoot madewithin the organization was to make the ticket prices forboth men’s and women’s gamesthe same. “You’re just so accustomed to being a female, growingup you always thought,‘okay we’re a little bit under the men so it’s cheaper in [our]sport’, like evenprofessional basketball tickets are less for the women [than the men].” Forwomen whohave grown up in a sporting culture where their participationhas been permitted but theircompetitive development not always encouraged by the provisionof adequate coaching58and resources, making the cost of a women’s game equal to the cost of a men’s gamemade an immediate impression. One participant stated, “You know, just with that smallaction he showed that there’s value in the women’s game and why have it seem to theoutside person that it’s less valuable by having lower ticket prices?”Under new ownership the WFC became a more professionally run sportorganization able to attract top Canadian players to the program. An increased number ofnational team players signed with the WFC and began spending their summersinVancouver training in an increasingly competitive environment.This competitive environment was precisely what Pellerud had beenseeking forhis players since arriving to Canada and with manyof his national team players on theWFC roster, Pellerud was introduced to Kerfoot and they immediatelyestablished acollaborative working relationship. Living in Toronto withhis family since thebeginning of his contract, Pellerud recognized the benefitsof Vancouver’s mild winterclimate in providing year-round, outdoor, trainingand decided to move his family toVancouver in early 2004. Having an increasingly competitiveenvironment provided bythe WFC and both his assistant and goalkeeper coachalready out west, Pellerud’srelocation made Vancouver the unofficial “home base”for the Canadian women’snational team program.As a result, a symbiotic relationship between the Canadianwomen’s nationalteam program and the WFC women’s program developed.The WFC benefited by havingthe national team based out of Vancouver in that they couldattract more top Canadianplayers to their franchise by promoting ‘increasedvisibility’ to national team staff.Similarly, when top Canadian players madethe decision to sign with the WFC and59relocate to the Vancouver area, the national team coaching staff had increased (and less-expensive) scouting opportunities as well as more hands-on access to the developmentand training of current and prospective national team players.As more and more national team players, as well as youth and adult competitiveplayers aspiring to compete internationally, signed with the WFC, the competitivetraining standards rose. With rising competitive standards came rising needs of theplayers and staff. Unlike five years earlier with the Breakers, the 2005 WFC season hadthe women’s team training every single day with an increased number of out-of-townplayers training in small-group settings. This increasedtraining necessitated more humanresources and in a landmark move, Kerfoot hired the first-ever full-timehead coach in theW-League. In February 2006, the Canadian women’s national team program,U20Assistant Coach Bob Birarda was named WFC full-time head coach.Shortly afterwards,Birarda named Steve Simonson full-time assistantcoach with responsibilities to overseethe development of the WFC female youth program.These new positions demonstrated a commitmentto competitive women’s soccerby allocating significant funds to the WFC women’sprogram for two new full-time staffmembers. For the first time in the W-Leaguea women’s team head coach would havetime and funding to focus solely on the training anddevelopment of the team. Oneparticipant described this decision as, “something thatadds so much to the program.They are people that are there all the time. Before,we may have had coaches [who] wereteachers so we couldn’t train in the morning or afternoon.Now, the schedule can bedictated around what’s best for the players in termsof training.”60In hiring Birarda, the relationship between the WFC and the Canadian women’snational team program became further entwined, and in the fall of 2006 Kerfoot’sfunding of the first-ever Full-Time Player Program made this relationship explicit.Full-Time Player ProgramBy the end of 2005 and fully ensconced in the soccer world in Vancouver,Pellerud and Kerfoot began negotiating the design and funding for a program that wouldensure that the Canadian women’s national team would be fully preparedfor theupcoming 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament and come homeas gold medalchampions. An avid soccer fan and savvy businessman,Kerfoot asked how much itwould cost to help Canada bring home the gold. Pellerud responded with characteristicbluntness that to win the gold medal at the 2007 FIFAWWC he would need to train thenational team on a full-time basis in a long-term residencycamp setting in Vancouver. Inorder to relocate the national team players to Vancouver andoffer a new daily trainingregime, players would have to be financially supported beyondwhat players werereceiving from the Athlete Assistance Program (AAP)through Sport Canada. Pellerudsaid achieving this would cost $1.5 million over twoyears. Kerfoot agreed.In the fall of 2006, current players from the Canadian women’snational teamarrived in Vancouver to start the “Full-Time Player Program”,enabling them to focussolely on training and preparing for the 2007FIFA Women’s World Cup in Beijing. Forthe first time ever, women on Team Canada were able totreat playing for their countrylike a full-time professional career. In addition to annualcarding money provided by theAAP (up to $18,000 for a senior card and$10,800 for a development card) players in the61Full-Time Player Program receive funding to top their annual salary up to $40,000. Thusfunding varied from player to player depending on their carding status, original livingcircumstances, and NCAA eligibility.Without the costly expense of repeatedly flying national team players from allover North America into training camp as well as relieving the players’ financial stress ofbeing in a long-term training camp and away from work, the Full-Time PlayerProgramfinally enabled Pellerud to have daily access to the trainingand development of theplayer’s on the national team. This increased the program’s chancesfor success at the2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.Kerfoot’s willingness to financially support Pellerudand the Canadian women’snational team program in their efforts to reach the podiumat the 2007 FIFA Women’sWorld Cup and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing hastaken the already changinglandscape of elite-level women’s soccer inCanada a dramatic step forward.Conclusion - Dreaming ofBeijingAlthough the 22-year history of the Canadian women’s nationalteam program, likecompetitive women’s soccer around the world, hasbeen short, it has not been easy. Withlimited funding and support from the CSA and frequent unofficialhiatus’ to the program,the women’s program has faced many obstacles. However,the success of Team U.S.A.’s1999 gold medal game sent the message to FIFA andNSO’s around the world to takenotice of women’s soccer. The CSA’s response to this messagewas to hireinternationally renowned head coach Even Pellerud therebyopening a door to thedevelopment of competitive women’s soccer in Canadathat Pellerud has refused to let62the CSA shut. By pushing for increased funding, acquiring additional full-time coaches,laying the groundwork for a stable youth national team program, competingin moreinternational matches, bringing players into a long-term residency camp fundedby theFull-Time Player Program, and achieving strong resultsat both the U19 and senior 2003FfFA Women’s World Cup events, Even Pellerud andGreg Kerfoot have been keyparticipants in creating change within the competitivelandscape of women’s soccer inCanada and have helped jumpstart Team Canadadown the path to success.This success was ratified in September 2006,for the first time ever in eithermen’s or women’s soccer in Canada, when the Canadianwomen’s national team placediO in the Official FIFA World Rankings— a feat previously deemed impossiblebysoccer critics and fans alike.The following chapter takes a deeper look at the waysin which these documentedchanges have influenced the everydaylives of both players and staff membersinvolvedin the Canadian women’s nationalteam program and the VancouverWhitecaps FC.63Chapter 5FindingsThe changing landscape of elite-level women’s soccer and the Canadian women’snational team program described in the previous chapter led to a more professionaltraining environment during the 2006 Whitecaps FC season and culminated in theimplementation of the Full-Time Player Program (henceforth FTPP) in September 2006.As a result of these changes within the environment of elite-level women’s soccer, theexperiences and attitudes of players and staff members involved were influenced inanumber of ways.Unstructured and in-depth interviews with eight elite-level soccer players andeight staff members who playedlworked for the Whitecaps FC organizationand/or withinthe Canadian women’s national team program provided an opportunityfor eachindividual to share their attitudes, perspectives, and meaningsabout the progress made inelite-level women’s soccer in Canada.At first glance, the data suggests that each of the eight competitorsbelieved thatthe increasingly professional Whitecaps FC environment and theimplementation of theFTPP represented real progress for women’s soccer in Canada.However, within thestories told by each participant, key themes emerged that illustrateda more ambiguouspicture about the impact of this environment depending in parton who benefited fromand/or had access to the changes. Thus, two somewhat differentsets of opinions emergedfrom within the player participant sample from thosewho were not national team players(henceforth competitive players) and those who were.64This chapter presents my findings in three sections; the first section focuses on theexperiences and opinions of competitive players influenced by the 2006 Whitecaps FCseason and the second looks at the experiences and opinions of the national team playersshaped by the subsequent implementation of the FTPP in September 2006. The fmalsection explores the attitudes and experiences expressed by staff members immersed inthese environments.Competitive Players: The Changing Landscape ofthe 2006 WhitecapsFC SeasonEmbracing ChangeWhen Kerfoot assumed ownership of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2002andinfused money into the development of the women’steam, the changes that occurredranged from the provision of better quality soccerequipment and access to better trainingfacilities, to an increase in training opportunities andthe provision of a small stipend.Then, when Pellerud moved to Vancouverin 2004 and began working closely withKerfoot and the Whitecaps FC, both parties recognizedthe need to combine their effortstowards creating an elite-level environmentthat would benefit their respective programs.This culminated in hiring Bob Birarda (then U20 Canadiannational team assistant coach)as full-time head coach of the Vancouver WhitecapsFC senior women’s team inFebruary 2006. Until this time, no head coach inthe W-League had been full-time,therefore this hire demonstrated that the Whitecaps FCwas committed to developing andsupporting an elite-level environment within the women’sgame. Upon learning ofBirarda’s appointment, one participant, Marcie, recalled:I was excited for Bob being there... I thought he was goingto bring more of a professionalism tothe team. . . .1 did think it was going tobe a really positive and good change. (Marcie)65Birarda’s new position meant that his primary focus was to oversee the development ofthe senior women’s team and provide a more competitive training environment for theplayers. As full-time coach, the team’s training schedule could also be supervised on afull-time basis. Gone were the days when players trained two or three times a week inthe late evenings. A full-time training environment was now possible, and forthe firsttime, the 2006 Whitecaps FC season consisted of daily training sessions, sometimestwosessions in one day (referred to as two-a-days), with trainingtimes in either the earlymorning, mid-afternoon, and/or evenings. Marcie describedthe impact of this full-timeenvironment:In terms of scouting and resource assistance, [there] is a lot more. There’s alsoa bigger pool ofplayers that are being developed because there are more resources. So, the fact thatyou have areserve team, have these younger youth players, you know, youth [developing] intowomen’splayers, coming up there’s the ability to train them and get them involved in theprogram whereasthere just [weren’t] those kind of resources before. (Marcie)Being full-time, and having access to morefinancial and human resources, Birarda andthe Whitecaps FC were able to implementa reserve team format for the 2006 season thatserved the purpose of developing youth playersas well as providing extra training andmatches for senior players. Theoretically, the reserveteam enabled the coaching staff tomonitor the development of up-and-coming youthplayers as well as move senior playersup and down. With a senior team and a reserve team,even more training opportunitieswere available for both competitive and national teamplayers.For most of the players interviewed, this new trainingschedule, with access tomore training sessions, was a tremendousstep forward in providing more opportunitiesfor individual and team development.Of this change, one participant, Marney, said:“[I] felt like I was fmally in an environment in Vancouver thatI could actually really improve asa player.” (Marney)66While Birarda’s hiring was a demonstrative step towards the development of amore professionally run sports franchise, the link between the Whitecaps FC and theCanadian national team program became even more transparent. Marney and anotherparticipant, Tracy, acknowledged this link:The Whitecaps is where this source of established money is, and so then it’s kind of like takingthat established money and then bringing the national team into it, because there’s no other systemof funding that’s adequate enough to be able to, you know, have the national team be covered inthe sense that they can do what they need to do in order to be a country that can compete with thehighest level, you know? (Marney)I thinlc when they hired Bob Birarda as the coach, [it was a] great decision for the nationalteamprogram because you have a national team coach who’s coaching the Whitecaps, so allthoseplayers who are already on the Whitecaps will develop into more of the national team system,andalso all these other players around Canada or who are usually in the States or whereverthey maybe, will want to come here and train because it’s the best link to their national team career.(Tracy)As discussed in the previous chapter, access to a consistent competitive trainingenvironment, along with financial support to maintain thisaccess, is the quintessentialneed for a competitive and national team player. These players found quality trainingwhere and when they could in order to remain competitive, and for many playerson thewest coast, this meant playing for the Vancouver WhitecapsFC. A mutually beneficial,albeit informal, relationship existed between the WhitecapsFC and various west-coastnational team players; the Whitecaps FC worked hard toaccommodate their nationalteam players’ duties (e.g., being called into camp and takenaway from the Whitecaps FCseason), so that when available, they would return to Vancouverand wear the WhitecapsFC jersey. As a private sport franchise concerned withthe bottom line, being able tomarket and feature national team players as part of theWhitecaps FC brand is in the bestinterest of the organization. As well, when not with thenational team, national teamplayers need an intense environment in order to maintaincompetitiveness — and the67Whitecaps FC is the only women’s team in Vancouver able to realistically provide thisenvironment.Increased Training, Decreased FundingThough access to better equipment, training facilities, quality coaching, and morefrequent training opportunities for the 2006 Whitecaps FC season was recognized asprogress, the impact of these changes did not benefit some of the competitive playerparticipants in the ways that they had hoped. More specifically, these players relatedthesacrifices that they made to continue playing competitively, howthey negotiated theirfeelings of self-worth and value as it related to their involvementwith an increasinglyprofessional program, and their need for control (senseof agency) over the continuationor conclusion of their own careers.For many players the increase in training had a dramatic impactupon their dailylives. Historically, training sessions were heldin the late evenings, starting anytimebetween seven and eight o’clock and ending between nineand ten o’clock. This allowedfor the players and volunteer staff (coaches)to maintain a typical work week and stillattend soccer training. Now that trainingsessions were held daily, often during themorning and afternoon, not only did commitmentto travel costs and time increase, buttime away from work increased as well. Tracy notedhow the new training schedule,made life more difficult to balance:I think once a club takes it professionally you automatically haveto step up, right? Urn, is thatgood? Yeah, but it’s good and bad. I think fora lot of people when you become a professionalathlete you have to make a choice. Like especially with,you know, so training becomes moreintense, which is fme and stuff like that but at the same time you’renot professionally paid. Soyou still have to balance your existing life withit, right? You still have to go to work, you stillhave to pay bills, you still have to do all that... (Tracy)68Despite the fact that an increase in training was perceived as a step forward forcompetitive women’s soccer in Canada, the ability to commit to these changes proveddifficult for many. All participants in the player category were adult women, living awayfrom home, with living costs that need to be covered (e.g., rent, car payments, carinsurance, food, gas money, utilities, and health insurance). An increase in trainingmeant that players either had to adjust their work schedules, miss workentirely, or misstraining sessions altogether, and for many, this was not possible.Although the Whitecaps FC did offer some compensationto offset costsassociated with increased training for the 2006 season, theamount of money offered waslimited (approximately $300 a month), and was notguaranteed to each player. It wasprovided for only the duration of theseason (approximately three months) and did notinclude pre-season training during the monthsof March and April. Though thecompensation was better than nothing, many women werestill paying out of their ownpocket to meet the team’s new training schedule:.just the struggle of trying to, you know, $300 a monthor whatever those of us that aren’t onthe national team, like that’s the only funding that I was getting fromthe Whitecaps whichbasically, essentially was just covering the gas to get to practice. (Mamey)Again, although increased training opportunitieswere needed to strengthen and raise theenvironment within the Whitecaps FC for the competitiveplayer, adequate financialsupport was not available to help ease the costsof increased travel and time.For many women, making these adjustmentsrequired even more sacrifices intheir lives to accommodate their competitive playingcareer. Driving long distances totraining three times a week was already a financial andtime commitment for competitiveplayers. Training five or six times a week and sometimestwice in one day was aconsiderable increase. One participant,Hayley, remarked:69You do start to feel, like towards the end there, you know I was just driving up to SFU over andover again and it’s in rush hour traffic, and you know, and you’ve got to pay for gas and you’repaying for parking and all these different things and, just yeah, you do start to think, uh, I wantto be doing some other things here, and this is such a sacrifice or this is such a time commitmentand I’m not happy. (Hayley)Previous to and during the 2006 Whitecaps FC season, some competitive playersaccommodated their playing careers by putting the pursuit of a professional career onhold. One competitive player described this accommodation:To be honest with you, like, to have a real “career” and play soccer, I don’t think you can do it.You have to do one or the other ye been able to balance a job and play soccer, but notice Isay the word job not a career. If it was a career, it wouldn’t last, right? (Tracy)Many competitive players found various ways to financially support their desire to playelite-level soccer (and in some cases chase their dreams of becoming national teamplayers) through coaching. Unlike many men in soccer who turn to coaching once theirplaying careers are over, many women in soccer turn to coaching as a viable source ofincome that enables them to support/maintain their playing careers. As a coach, you canearn between $40 and $75 an hour’7.In this way, coaching enables a female player towork few hours per day, for high hourly wages, leaving plenty of time available duringthe day and late evening for training and earning enough money to remain financiallyself-sufficient. Marney acknowledged how her work as a coach enabled her to remaincompetitive:I’m probably one of the more fortunate ones [who coaches soccer which] doesn’t require me tobe at a desk from 9-5, that I can make enough money to try and play... (Marney)For national team players receiving monthly government funding, the changesimplemented for the 2006 Whitecaps FC season did not have the same impact ontheirlives as on the lives of competitive players within the organization. Receiving“This number varies based on the player’s coaching experience and reputation aswell aswhat community soccer organization they are working with. Also, this varies fromwithin Canada; not all community soccer organizations in each province across Canadapays this much for professional coaching, however, this is the current trend in Vancouver.70approximately $1,800 a month (if on a senior card) and$300 from the Whitecaps FCstipend provided more financial support to national team players in this increasedtrainingenvironment than to competitive players.It is important to note here that for the 2005 season, the WhitecapsFCorganization implemented, for the first time,a monthly player stipend to cover the costsof playing for the Whitecaps FC. The stipend was distributed ina tier-system with top-tier players receiving$425 a month, second-tier players receiving $325, and third-tierplayers receiving $250. Leading into the 2006season, despite all the changes andincreased training demands, the tier system was canceledand a $300 stipend was offeredto some players with various restrictions (as mentionedabove). Thus, some players whoreceived $425 a month in the previous season were nowcommitting more time andpersonal resources to the Whitecaps FCorganization and their playing careers for$125less in financial support.Excluded by ChangeThis resulted in feelings of frustration,worthlessness, and exclusion as it becameobvious to some competitive players that thisnew training schedule primarilyaccommodated national team players. Tracy remarkedon the new training schedule:You could tell it was geared towards making sure those nationalteam players had a place toplay and train on a consistent basis, so every dayduring the day, two-a-days, whatever.Whereas they know, the majority of the local or in-townplayers aren’t going to be able to dothat because they already have other commitments.(Tracy)While she did not believe that the nationalteam players were undeserving of this supportper Se, Tracy said:.1 think you can create a huge division in your teamwhen you know certain players areable tosurvive by just playing soccer all summer, whereyou have other players on the team givingthe71same amount of commitment, they’re there the same amount of time and they still have to fmd away to survive. (Tracy)For most competitive players, it was difficult to maintain a positive attitude when thenational team players within the Whitecaps FC were receiving more financialcompensation for equal amount of time and effort given. In addition to financial support,it was perceived that national team players were also being provided with a certain levelof respect and privilege based on their national team status:it seemed as though they were treated very well, financially and like, with respect, you know?They were the important people of the team kind of thing. So yeah it did make us, well me, feelless important and you know, I got less playing time, I wasn’t supported fmancially or youknow, I was paying my rent, whereas a lot of the national team players were living for free inthe apartment building, able to train all the times that they wanted. Whereas the rest of us wereworking, and you know, trying to make money to do all this. And it also felt like it didn’t reallymatter what we did, that these national team players were going to play. And even when theywere away we got to fill in, and that was exciting, but then they came back and we werekind ofpushed to the side again, and not having as much playing time.So, yeah, that was frustratingand for me, it was difficult to really have a positive attitude even though I knew thatthat wasimportant for me to do. (Hayley)Marney echoed these feeling of frustration:I thinic if you have the benefit of being labeled a national team player, I just feel likeyou get acertain credit... everybody likes to put people into boxes, youknow? This is how we identifythis player or that player, or whatever. . .I’ve never had the benefit of being identifiedas anational team player. I’m put in this box, based on my past experiences where I’m theplayerthat’s not quite good enough to play on the national team, whereas if I’m on the nationalteam Iget a certain, ‘Well obviously you must be good in some sort ofway.’ Where a lot of times withplayers its like, you have good performances and bad performances and its givena different sortof importance, or something is attached to it based on the stock that comes withyour name as aplayer. And that’s what I find frustrating with the whole system!(Mamey)Competitive players were not receiving commensurate financial support andfelt that theywere not being treated with an equal or objective amountof respect, which made itdifficult to feel as though they were an integral part of a cohesive team unit.This madethem feel insignificant and dispensable. Both Hayley andTracy described feeling thisway:I didn’t really feel like I was important. Or I was just a number.So if I wanted to come [totraining], great, and if I didn’t want to come then... [shrugs shoulders]...that kind of thing.(Hayley) be honest, I almost felt replaceable. Really, I could have been any person, I felt more like anumber here in my own city, whereas, when I was away I felt like an actual professional player.(Tracy)Lacking a Sense of ControlThe limited financial and emotional support created an unhealthy environmentwhere the competitive players in this study felt they hadno sense of control over theirown playing career. Some competitive players, after commencingthe 2006 WhitecapsFC season, felt that they were forced to ‘retire’ from competitivesoccer. Tracy recalled:I always said that if I couldn’t play at that level anymore, if I knew, “You know whatTracy?You’re not fit enough, you’re not fast enough, . . . you’re not smart enoughto play.” . . .Youknow what I mean? At that level, if my decision-making slowed downand all that stuff, then Iwould be like, okay. “Well you know what, I’m just not cutout to do it.” But, the fact that I stillknow and still believe that I could still be at that level. I couldstill play... So, yeah thedecision wasn’t really mine to make. . . . So it wasn’t a, okay,no I just love working more and Ichose that. It was a, I didn’t really have a choice. . . .I’m nota person who deals well with notbeing in control — especially in my life — so, for that decisionto be forced upon my drove menuts... [Participant goes on to discuss that she cannot standto listen to Whitecaps FCadvertisements or even read news highlights of the team.] (Tracy)Perhaps in a moment of forethought the followingparticipant chose to resignbefore the 2006 Whitecaps FC season commenced.She described her decision:[In] the end I decided that I really needed to be able to put all my energyinto something likethat and looking at the way the team was going to go, lookingat the fact that there was going to[be] training on a daily basis, sometimes more than once, and thefact that I have a full-time joband that, you know, I have to put my energies towards thatas well. I just didn’t feel that I couldbe at the same level as the other girls because, you know, with the other thingsI had to do in mylife, or wanted to do in my life. And that, I couldmaybe do it, but that I wouldn’t be happy atthe end doing it. So, I had to make that decision. And I also wantedto make sure that when Iwasn’t playing anymore, it was on my terms as well. (Marcie)Although she felt that she could still compete technicallyand physically for theWhitecaps FC, Marcie recognized that balancinga full-time career and the new trainingschedule would be difficult and therefore chose to retire.73Thus although the changing landscape within the Whitecaps FC organization isgenerally described as positive change for elite-level women’s soccer in Canada itsimpact on the personal lives of the competitive players interviewed in this study were attimes negative. Despite some of these negative influences Marney poignantly stated howshe is able to endure:But I know what gives me happiness and it’s soccer. I love playing soccer, it’s at the core ofwho I am. (Marney)The following section describes some of the similar ways in which the FTPPinfluenced the lives of some of the national team players involved in the program.National Team Players: Implementation ofthe FTPPEmbracing ChangeAfter the 2006 Whitecaps FC season concluded in August, details of the FTPPwere finalized and in September, national team players residing outside of Vancouvermoved to the city to join the national team players already living in town inthe first-everlong-tern-i residency training camp. Funded by Kerfoot, the FTPP strictly supportstheCanadian women’s national team program.For women on the Canadian national team, the implementation of the FTPPwas adream come true; for years, players and coaches within the national team program werevociferous in asking the CSA for increased funding that would enable the nationalteamto spend more time together in residency-style training camps. More time together, theyinsisted, would enable individual players and the team to coalesce technically, tacticallyand physically, to achieve international standards. One participant, Natalie, describedthebenefit of having more time together in residency camp:74The time that the team has spent together this fall has been so instrumental in some of the resultsthat have occurred, you know, even on the field say, in the past couple of weeks. That timetogether, in order to become one of the world’s best, you need to always surround yourselfbylike-minded players, players with the same quest, you know, pushingeach other. Before, youwould again, break it off and go back to your own environment, andsometimes to create thissort of super-environment is the best way to get the best results and to prepare as closely asyoucan for that international pursuit. (Natalie)As discussed previously, it is strongly argued that more frequent(daily) and intensetraining contributes to the development of elite-athletes (Salmela,1998). More time‘together’ as a team is imperative in helping ateam’s success in internationalcompetition. However, in order to have moretime together in the form of a full-timeresidency camp players need to be properly compensated.In providing individualcontracts, the FTPP gives moneydirectly to the player in the form of a salary, ensuringthat each player can dedicate the time, energy,and resources needed while in residency.For players receiving carding money throughthe AAP, the FTPP contracts top uptheir yearly salary to approximately$40,000 annually (roughly an additional$1,800monthly/$22,000 annually). Previousreports from Sport Canada have statedthat inpursuit of international competition,the AAP funding accounts for100% of a cardedathlete’s income. In Canada,funding for athletes has been a contentiousissue over theyears with those in elite-levelsport (players, coaches, administrators)constantly pushingfor more government support.After a dismal report given by the IOCafter Canada’sperformance at the 2006 WinterOlympic Games in Turin, Italy, the governmentofCanada renewed its commitmentto support international athletes by increasingthe AAPcarding scale to$1,500 for a senior card and $1,000 for a developmentcard. Still, $1,500a month is not enough to supportmost athletes in this pursuit. The provisionof the FTPPensures this additional financial support.One participant, Arli, describedthe importanceof the FTPP:75[It] is helping out by allowing the players to receive some money on a monthly basis, not forthem to make money, but to help them relieve a bit of the stress. So instead of having to workeight hours a day or being on the field coaching every single night — which is extremelyexhausting — it means that you [can] work less and therefore you can focus more on soccer, ontraining, and alleviate the stress of having to worry about working so much. (Arli)Gone are the days when players were paying out of their own pocket for travel,equipment, physiotherapy, and additional training. Through the FTPP contracts, playersare now able to cover the added expenses associated with international competition, aswell as live comfortably. Natalie explained the importance of the FTPP contracts:.1 think it’s the very thing that we’ve been arguing for in ‘99 and 2003 and the qualificationsleading up to, is to somehow compensate for some of the daily living expenses that it costs tobeing a player. This money doesn’t go into the majority of people’s bank accounts and helpingto increase the black, it just helps, like this money is there, there is some housing that is alsosupported by Greg Kerfoot and the CSA, but players are still responsible for buying their food,paying for chunks of the rent, you know any of the telephone cost, all that kind of stuff, so. . . .1don’t think its necessarily just going into a stack in the bank account. (Natalie)Finally, players were given the financial compensationlsupport they needed in order tofocus their energies on becoming elite-level players and representing Canada on theworld stage of soccer. There were other ways, however, in which the implementation ofthe FTPP influenced and shaped their lives.Increased Support, Increased SacrficeThough players on the national team were now provided with additional funds tosupport their daily training schedule, the program/contract came with many requirements,including the expectation to relocate to Vancouver, BC. One participant, Madaleinediscussed the impact of this requirement:we had to make sacrifices like I said, having to move here, to Vancouver to residency camp.That, you know, it’s costing us, personally more money than — I mean I’m not making anymoney being here. As you know, we are getting that money but it’s quite expensive living here.Plus having to pay for your home at home. . . .1 mean I guess you have to be based somewhere,and they chose to be based here in the BC area but like... I make a sacrifice not to see myboyfriend, see my family, put everything on hold, because I have to live here and I have to pay76everything here just to get settled down here. I have to get more stuff even though I have all thesame stuff at home, you know? (Madaleine)In order to have residency camp, players need to live in the same location. For playersliving outside of Vancouver, this meant leaving their established lifestyles and oftentimes careers for extended periods of time up to two or three months at a time. Thiscommitment had an impact on local national team players as well. One participant,Heather, described the sacrifices she has made:Urn a lot of it has to do with family and friends... Missing out on weddings, someof mygirlfriends, friends of mine, relatives have gotten married. FuneralsI’ve missed. You knowthose types of things. . . .You know there’s all that sort of stuff that you don’t really thinkabout... And another thing I sacrifice is the health of my body.I don’t know, to be honest, ifI’ll be able to walk when I’m 40 years old. Because I have three stress fractures inmy legs, onein my leg, two in my feet. I have anides that are shattered. Knock on wood that myknees areokay but, who knows for how much longer, you know? So there’s a lot of healththings, schoolthings, work — like I’ve sacrificed getting a real job, like,who knows what I’m going to do whenI’m done soccer? Because I don’t know life outside ofsoccer, right? There’s no, reality to mylife outside of this. . . .1 haven’t traveled the world, I’venever been on a trip for myself before.It’s been all for soccer. So I mean, schooling is probablygoing to be another two years andthen, like, get a real job, like go traveling, okay so then I’m getting marriedand having kidswhen I’m 40. Not that great, you know? So I’ve put a lot of thatsort of stuff on hold, and whoknows when real life is going to happen? (Heather)Putting ‘real’ life on ‘hold’ by having to miss importantfamily events or postpone majorlife decisions like starting a family, a career, and havingthe time to travel were sacrificessome national team players made toparticipate. Having managed to balance a career insport along with competing internationally beforethe FTPP, Natalie had to resign inorder to fully participate in the FTPP:.I’ve taken a leave of absence, an indefinite leaveof absence. So, and it’s sort of been aprocess through early in 2006 where I took a massivepay-cut to allow myself to continue toplay, or to become more of a full-time player... So I took abig hit and became very much apart-time worker throughout the spring and summer. Andthen at the end of the summer, again,knowing that residency was going to start, thought,this is different than we even imagined inthe spring, I thought there was still going to be and in andout ability, and I realized withresidency that that’s not realistic. (Natalie)I’m not saying its — its incredibly difficult, I think, to pullup stakes and move somewhere else.m not saying it’s easy, I’ve given up jobs and actually have losta huge chunk of money togo and do this, and in fact, because I’m a local player, don’tget the benefits of some gas moneyor maybe help with rent, you know, so in the end, it hurtslocal players too — some local players.So it’s just a huge sacrifice all around for everybody, evensome of the contract staff membersor some of the coaching staff, like it has been very difficulton them. (Natalie)77Like Natalie who had to lose a salaried position in order to receive full-time funding,Heather also acknowledged that the increased funding did not necessarily covercommitted expenses:Like, the situation still isn’t great... We’re each getting money now, per month, that’s a salarybasically, in order to offset some of the costs of our training. I mean, people that have left theirhomes and stuff, still have their mortgages to pay, still have their bills to pay, still have their carpayments, still have all these payments, and now they have payments here as well. But, I don’tknow, I guess the balancing factor is that there is some more money to help out with that.(Heather)While the national team participants were supportive of the FTPP and certain thatresidency-style training is imperative in Canada’s pursuit to be strong competitors ininternational soccer, they acknowledged that the program was not without increasedsacrifice to their personal lives.Lacking a Sense of ControlIn addition to emotional, professional, and forsome women financial sacrifices inorder to participate in the FTPP, the national team participantsspoke somewhat uneasilyabout the manner in which the contracts were designed and administeredresulting infeelings of insecurity and control over their careers.Since Kerfoot funds the Canadian women’s nationalteam program, the CSA doesnot play a role in the decision-making and distributionprocess18.As Head coach,Pellerud decides who will be offered funding and uponaccepting the contract, playersrelocate to Vancouver in order to participate in the full-timeresidency camp. Heatherdescribed the process of selection:18This process has not been clearly disclosed in any interviewswith either the playerandlor staff samples. Participants all noted that Even Pellerudhas sole control over whois given funding and when that funding concludes.78He chooses the players. So basically if you’re performing at a level and you can commit to theteam residential camp wise, I mean you’re still able to be involved with the NT and not be a partof residential camp — it is a possibility — you just forfeit your funding from Greg Kerfoot andyou live your lifestyle, wherever you do it, you play games, you train, whatever, you can stillget invited into a camp, Even made that clear, you can still play at World Cup level, but, youcan’t be involved here and be paid. So, he chooses, and in a way, also the players, like he canrecommend a player and if a player denies it then fme, but he basically chooses who gets it.• . But you can be dropped from the program at any point in time. You’re only given one monthgrace period of pay. So ff1 got dràpped tomorrow, I’d get my October month and then I’d betoast. Toast from my carding, toast from Greg Kerfoot in one month, go find yourself a job thatpays you three grand a month and continue to live without your life. So it’s pretty harsh if youdo something wrong or you’re not performing or something like that and you fully get dropped.You’re done. So Even has full reigns over that. (Heather)For Heather it was very clear that in order to maintain funding,you must not onlyconsistently perform at international standards, but be willing and able to relocate to theVancouver area and commit to the FTPP. Though Heather said that it is still a“possibility” for players to be on the national team but not participate in theFTPP, suchplayers would not receive additional financial support, nor have access todaily trainingwith the national team.With the implementation of the FTPP and new financial support, received onlywhen the contracts were signed, participants describeda sense of limited autonomy overtheir lives. Arli struggled to express her sense of thelimitations of the contract:.basically Even said, in the contract between the players, urn, communicateto him, you’reallowed to have work outside of being a player but just communicate with him.So, if you’reaccepting a, like if you’re working 9-5, Monday to Friday, it’s... that would not be acceptablebecause, especially the Vancouver-based players, have to be available for... It just, itgaveEven the freedom to run more sessions throughout the week. Like, outside of trainingcampsand the flexibility to and urn, I mean it, it wasn’t written in stone that you could notwork...(Arli)Previous to the FTPP, national team players managedvarious aspects of their lives suchas education, interpersonal relationships, as well asjobs/careers when funded only bySport Canada’s AAP. Now, in order to receive increasedfunding they had to commit toparticipating in the FTPP which entailed relocating toVancouver. Although it was not“written in stone” that you couldn’t accept work andstill be in the FTPP, there was79limited time and opportunity for players to do so. In this way, some participants felt thatthey exchanged their sense of autonomy for increased funding:It’s been urn, I rnean in a way, we’ve been able to be professional soccer players, something wealways wanted. Obviously there was a cost to it. It cost, you know, pretty rnuch living, youknow, leave all our family and you know our life that we are accustomed to at home, and dowhatever [Pellerudj was saying. . . .So it’s a bit more challenging in the way that there wasless.., how can I say that? If there was a camp, you can’t say no. You’re more of a, you know,a puppet in the way that they’re giving you money but they’re expecting a lot. (Madaleine)Thus, despite being told that they were still able to work and live outside of Vancouverand remain in the national team program, the only way to receive additional funding fromKerfoot, was for national team players to sign the contracts and commit to relocatingtoVancouver to participant in the FTPP.However, unlike the competitive players discussed above, the sacrifices beingmade by the national team players were for a more tangible goal — dreamsof medaling inthe 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Recallingthesweet taste of victory from Team Canada’s success in 2003, Natalie describedtheinvaluable reward that makes these sacrifices worthwhile:To look into your teammates’ eyes at the end of the a game, orgo to the World Cup and beat aChina to make it into the semi-finals, there is no dollar figure on that, and that can’t be replacedwith anything... (Natalie)Like the players immersed in the changing landscape of elite-level women’ssoccer in Canada, staff members also had particular attitudesand beliefs about theirenvironment and the changes within it. The next section reveals importantattitudes andbeliefs about the culture of soccer in Canada from various staff members’perspectives.StaffMembers: Views ofthe Changing LandscapeNot surprisingly, when discussing the changing landscapeof elite-level women’ssoccer in Canada with various staff members the attitudes, experiences,and beliefs80expressed differed in varying ways from those shared by some of the players. Inaddition, discussions with staff members traversed a wide range of ideas about howsoccer is structured and perceived in Canada. The following section explores theattitudes and experiences shared by staff members.Perceived Struggle: Gender BiasPrior to Kerfoot providing funding for the senior women’s nationalteam inSeptember 2006, Canada had experienced immense successwith a second place finish atthe 2002 U19 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Edmontonand a fourth place finish at the2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup in theU.S.. Staff member Brent, recalled the climatefelt within women’s that time there was a lot of awarenessraised to the success of women’s soccer in Canada.Unfortunately when we failed to qualify for the Olympics in2004 it was a bit of a blow to thesituation but even more so was [that] theCSA no longer funded the team in that year tocontinuetraining since [we] failed to qualify... so that was a bit ofstep backwards for us. . . . So, themomentum that was initially created raised a lot ofawareness, there was a lot of opportunity,and it was a very exciting time for soccer in Canada.I do remember after we had qualified, Ibelieve for the semi-final, in the World Cupin 2003 in the USA, our Head of Delegation, whowas the Vice-President at the time, toasted us at thestaff table by saying, do you realize that byqualifying the bonuses the players receive willcome out of next year’s budget? (Brent)Despite the program’s successes on thefield, the CSA did not reward the women’sprogram with increased funding and/or resourcesto stay the course of development.The ethos behind these CSA decisionswere viewed differently by the staffmembers interviewed. Some believed thatwomen’s soccer in Canada was treatedand/orperceived differently than men’s soccer basedon their experiences within the CSAandthe Whitecaps FC organization. Despitethe on-field successes noted by Brent, staffmember Dana, described the CSA’s mixedmessage of support:all of a sudden these Board members whom I’veknown for years at the CSA weresaying,“Aren’t the women great! The women are doingmuch better than the men could ever hopetodo!” ... the CSA loves to have successand they’re never going to have success in the men’s81program the way that things are going right now so they’re jumping on the bandwagon of thewomen’s program, but they’re still trying to undercut us! They’re still trying to under-fund us.(Dana)Another staff member, Samantha, described that the perception of the women’s andmen’s soccer differs:.there are still people out there who believe [women should not be playing soccer] and theyare in positions of power. Because it’s a cultural thing... Male culture, female culture. And it’sjust very hard for a lot of people to accept it and there will always be this dichotomy. And Ithink the women . . . are smart enough to realize this and just grit their teeth and keep going.Because I thinjc they’ll be fighting this battle for a long, long, long time. And there are peoplewho pay lip service to women’s soccer but when it comes down to the crunch, and I’ve hadpeople in very high power at [the CSA] say to me... I’m just going to pull the funding andthrow it into the men’s program because that’s where it counts. Oh, yeah, I’ve had people saythat to me. .. .And that’s within the last few years. The attitude is still there. (Samantha)Though the women’s and men’s national team programs are structured differently, staffmember Jillian described these differences in terms of support:[The men’s program] take all these players from their premier league teams and they have toactually pay them. And I think they get an appearance fee of 10 grand every time they play.And you know, [we were] giving the playersS 10 a day, you know? I mean that’s a disparityright there... (Jillian)Despite the different organizational structure of the women’s and men’s national teamprogram’9,male national team players do, in fact, receive more funding for their playingcontributions, leading to the perception that the women’s program and female nationalteam players have been and continue to be treated unfairly by the CSA.This perception that women’s programs are treated differently from men’sprograms was also maintained by some staff members working within the Whitecaps FCorganization. Staff member Vivian, described:when you look at the women having won the W-League twice now and the men having wonit once, who got more hoopla? So again, you know what, it’s a father’s pride to see his sonsucceed; he’s really happy that his daughter did too, but it’s his absolute pride to see his sonsucceed. And I think somehow that comes out, and, can I begrudge them that thought? Somenights I can sit there and think about it and go, boy I’m telling you! We should have been at theLion’s game, being paraded around and being shown on the big screen! You know, we didn’t19For the purpose of this research, a comprehensive comparative analysis of the women’sand men’s national team program is not provided. Based on data gathered within theinterviews82do this once, we did this twice; we should have been out there being paraded around, we shouldhave been at the WHL game being paraded out on the big screen and getting the free tickets tothe hockey games and things. (Vivian)Perceived Struggle: Cultural AttitudesNot all staff members described the barriers to the women’s program as being theresult of bias based on gender. Some of them believedthat the women’s program wasnot treated any differently from the men’s program at the nationallevel. Brent the history of the CSA there are stories of people making presentations and completelyforgetting about the women’s program, but this is pre-2000. From my experiencesto date Ihaven’t noticed any difference in funding between male and thefemale and it’s never ever beenan issue and it’s never ever been a concern. . . .1 do recall,at the Olympic qualifying tournamentin Costa Rica, listening to the then Head of Accounting, tell us flat-out that the team,yeah theywere successful, but unfortunately they weren’t quite successful enough for thesponsors that theCSA was going after so we still needed to prove ourselves,even though we finished fourth inthe world with the senior national team and second in the world with theyouth national team, itstill wasn’t good enough by their standards. . . .1 think that in1986... when [the men] were inthe World Cup [the CSA] made a choice not to invest in the futureof soccer in Canada. At thattime the US made a choice to invest in the future of [soccer in]the United States of America,and they’re now ranked in the top 10 and [our men] are approaching 100.So in a sense, I thinkthat [the CSA] has been making these decisions all along, maleor female. (Brent)Rather than the lack of support and funding experiencedby the women’s program being aresult of ‘better’ or ‘more’ support and funding givento the men’s program, some staffmembers believe that it is the CSA in general that strugglesto adequately support andfund both programs. In this way, Paul described:The [CSA] has never been biased between men and women...The main problem is the...cultural problem, that the [CSA], as most other associations, arerun as amateur, with an amateurbackground. So that means, everything has to be politically correct.There is no risk-taking.There is no understanding of seeing things differently, andthere is no understanding that highperformance takes a more aggressive approach and has to be treateda different way than thegrassroots soccer program. (Paul)Non-aggressive decision-making and leadershipwithin the CSA (national level) as wellas within youth soccer organizations (municipal andprovincial levels) was described aspart of the reason why women’s soccer and men’ssoccer within Canada have struggledto develop, rather than concerns based on genderequity.83In addition, some staff members coupled beliefs of non-aggressive decision-making and poor leadership with a ‘cultural attitude’ towards sport participation asfurther reason attributing to the lack of funding/support of elite-level women’ssoccer inCanada. Based on his experience Paul described this ‘cultural attitude’:Well I think the whole North American soccer attitude is a recreational one, or was arecreational one. Which means the top [goal] for a North American player[is] to get ascholarship. And ... what they did outside that was minor. Summer was meant to be off, tohave vacation and be with family or friends, and then go backto school. Which was the mainfocus for a lot of young players. I think the mentality was that, that wasthe top team for them.And national team ... it was a recreational mentality for sure. . . . Whilesoccer is the focal pointfor every young girl or women, or man, growing up in Europe, its hockey[in Canada]. Yeah,people talk highly about [soccer] because it’sa great participation sport, it’s good for the kids allaround fitness, and it’s a fun sport. But that attitude isstill around, and there’s nothing wrongwith that. Just what is happening is that the high performancepart of it has been moreencouraged and understood to be an important factor as well. So I think there’sa sense of yes,grassroots soccer is important as well, but now it’s time to focuson the high performance part.(Paul)Since a female soccer player’s top “goal” in NorthAmerica is to compete for her collegeor university (whether in the U.S.A.on athletic scholarship or within the CanadianJnteruniversity Sport structure), the emphasison her development is placed between theages of 14 to 18 years. Paul described howthis cultural attitude affects the adult femaleplayer and adult competitive programsafter college/university sport:There is nothing. Unless you are young enoughto be a NCAA player with scholarships, but thatis until you are graduating and that is where your real soccer careershould take off. Here, ittakes down. So actually when you are 22, 23 yearsold, where you haven’t really peaked yet,you have nowhere to go. And that is the biggestdifference between Europe and Canada. Youare offered a three-month soccer league and outsidethat is basically amateur, or super-amateur,grassroots, recreational leagues, which does nothelp you in development, it takes you actuallythe other way... (Paul)With so much emphasis placed on youthparticipation and development, leadingup toand during college/university competition, elite-leveladult women’s soccer and the84Canadian women’s national team program have struggled to create an adequateenvironment for continued training and development20.Thus, when Kerfoot approached Pellerud with the question of what it would takefor the women to succeed at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Beijing, Pellerudrecognized Kerfoot’s query as a unique opportunity for development of the women’snational team program within a complex culture of soccer in Canada.Kerfoot and Pellerud’s combined effort represent progress made within thiscomplex culture. One staff member, Dana, acknowledged:I think that [Pellerud] is trying to do the best that he can for the national team players, and thatmeans that he wants them centralized and he wants to give them more money.... So withregards to money, you know what, I don’t think anything’s wrong with that. I don’t. I thinkhe’s done a good job in trying to get it, to make it so that it’s a living for these players. Andwho wouldn’t want that, by the way, right? If he can make it work, why not? (Darla)From the injection of funds into the women’s national team program bya privatebenefactor, the Canadian women’s national team has achievedone of its ultimate goals;daily and as close to year-round competitive, training as possible with adequatefinancialcompensation to the players involved.These changes within the landscape of elite-level women’s soccer in Canadaenable players and staff members to keep dreaming of Beijing:to qualify and medal atthe 2007 FWA Women’s World Cup and the 2008 Olympics.20As documented in Chapter 4, the NCAA is not the onlybarrier in the development ofelite-level women’s soccer and the Canadian national teamprogram; lack of adequatefunding and support have been well documented as additionalsignificant obstacles.85Chapter 6DiscussionIn Gina Prince-Bythewood’s 2000 film Love & Basketball, the two maincharacters Monica Wright and Quincy McCall grow up as neighbours, friends, and later,lovers brought together by their passion for basketball. Equally talented players bothshare the aspiration of one day playing professional basketball and are recruited to thesame university enabling them to continue their playing careers and their relationship.After learning of his father’s infidelity, Quincy ends his relationship with Monica andleaves college to enter the NBA draft. Heartbroken, Monica delves furtherintobasketball ensuring a successful college career that affords her (in a pre-WNBA era) thechance to play professionally in Spain.Despite her success playing overseas, Monica’s dreamof playing in the NBA isnever realized, and after one season she retires and returnsto the United States. At home,Monica visits Quincy in the hospital who sufferedan ACL tear after five turbulent andunsuccessful years in the NBA and learns that he is engaged.Having never really let goof her love for him, Monica finds herself without basketballand Quincy. When Quincyasks her why she has given up professional ball, Monicareplies, “It’s a trip you know,when you’re a kid you see the life you want and it never crosses yourmind that its notgoing to turn out that way.”Like Monica and like many young women in Canada today, theplayers in thisstudy not only grew up participating in sports but cultivating visionsof their futures thatincluded sport competition. As a result of Title IX’simpact on increasing women’sparticipation in college athletics, female athletes havebeen offered “a mainstream vision86of athletic success” (McDonagh & Pappano, 2007, p.108). In soccer in Canada, asdescribed by the participants in this study, this ‘vision of success’ comes primarily in theform of NCAA athletic scholarships to colleges and universities in the United States.However, it is upon graduation that the female soccer players’ ‘vision of success’becomes fractured. Both competitive and national team players and staff membersacknowledge that after graduation, when a female athlete is approximately 22 yearsofage, her opportunities for continued athletic developmentare extremely limited in NorthAmerica. McDonagh and Pappano (2007) recognize that:While female athletes can now dream of playingon an Olympic team, the promiseof a professional career, while increasingly possible, remainslargely elusive. Thelandscape is improving, but too few female athletes have opportunitiesbeyondcollege, particularly to earn a living even remotelyakin to comparable maleathletes, for whom big-money careers provide an incentivefor hard work. (p.108).The conclusion of a female’s academic careerdoes not necessitate the end of her desireand ability to be a competitive athlete;for the players in this study, their involvementinsoccer was far more than ‘sport participation’- it became the core of their identities.Women and Professional SportThat this core identity does not abruptlyend upon graduation is the reason whymany of these female players stroveto maintain their athletic identityby pursuing elitelevel soccer in the ways available tothem; namely within the amateur W-League.The men in Roderick’s (2006) study of professionalfootballers in Englandstruggled to maintain a sense of controlover their ‘careers’ in a profession ofa highly87public nature and defined by the performance of their body. He writes, “When playersstart out they may think that, as young professionals, their destinies are in their ownhands. Even so, as they mature, they find themselves increasingly caught up in the ties ofinterdependence which they cannot comprehend very easily, if at all...” (Roderick, 2006,p.4).Not unlike these male professionals, the players in this study struggled to acceptthat their athletic ‘careers’, or destinies, were not wholly within their hands. They foundthat their destinies were shaped not only by the decisions of coaches andteam managersbut by the absence ofprofessional playing opportunities that permitted themtheopportunity to pursue a viable career in sport. Some of the competitive players inthisstudy, as the Whitecaps FC organization became increasingly professional with daily andsometimes two-a-day unpaid training sessions felt “forced” into retirement. Additionally,the Whitecaps FC ‘ s new formal relationship with the Canadian women’snational teambrought more prospective and current national team players to Vancouver,limiting theopportunity for active roster spots on the Whitecaps FC team. In thisway, competitiveplayers, despite their perception of their ability to play/competeat a higher level of soccerand their desire to do so lacked control over their playing‘careers’.National team players in this study experienced similar feelingsof loss of controlover their personal lives and their playing ‘careers’ based on theFTPP. Despite havingthe opportunity to be paid to play elite-level soccer, the money came withvariousrestrictions impacting the abilities of national team players to determinetheir place ofresidence, career development and personal affairs.88Sport Organizations and Female LeadershipThe sense of power and control over the personal lives and playing careers of thefemale players in this study due to the changing landscape of elite-level women’s soccerin Canada was transferred to the people and organizations,namely those involved withthe Canadian women’s national team and the Whitecaps FC team.The previously more casual relationship betweenthe Canadian national teamprogram and the Whitecaps FC organization became moreformal when Birarda washired as the Whitecaps FC full-time Head coach and Kerfoot fundedthe FTPP. Themanifest intention of combining their efforts andresources was to provide a moreprofessional training environment forelite-level women soccer players in Canada.However the latent result of this new alliance meantthat while the Whitecaps FC was ateam/organization that in the past enabledcompetitive and national team playerstomaintain/develop their physical and technical abilities,it had now become the teamwhere prospective and current youth andsenior national team players flocked, in ordertoincrease their chances of playing for the national team.This “professional” environmentprovided by the Whitecaps FC organizationhas shaped the landscape of elite-levelwomen’s soccer in Canada in two main ways;first, it has raised the value of theWhitecaps FC brand by ‘cornering the market’on prospective (youth) and national teamplayers within Canada, decreasing theavailable roster spots and hence trainingopportunities for non-national team players(competitive players). Secondly, becausetheWhitecaps FC women’s team plays withinthe amateur W-League of the USL, theorganization cannot “pay” its players —assuming they had the desire to do so. Atthesame time, being unable to pay their playersdoes not obstruct the program from89increasing their training and match commitments, that is to say, creating a more‘professional’ environment. Thus an increasingly ‘professional’ environment withoutproper remunerations works to curtail the duration of a competitive female athletes’playing career rather then extend it.The impact of these changes on competitive players and the landscape of elite-level women’s soccer however does not dilute the importance of a ‘professional’ trainingenvironment for development and international recognition. Given the constraints of thestructure of women’s soccer in Canada, with its focus on collegiatesport, and the impactof NCAA’s amateurism bylaw on the W-League and thus the WhitecapsFC franchise,Pellerud and Kerfoot pursued the only other option available to themby fimding andimplementing the FTPP and providing senior nationalteam players with the financialsupport required to “be” professional.Interestingly, when asked why elite-level women’s soccerhas struggled to receiveadequate funding (for the program), quality training,and pay (for the players and staff)over the years, the participants in this study providedtwo main lines of reasoning. Mostfemale respondents (within the player and staff sample)attributed the strugglesexperienced within elite-level soccer and primarily theCanadian women’s nationalprogram as a result of unequal treatment based on gender.The women’s program, it wasfelt, suffered because people in leadership positionswithin the CSA did not takewomen’s soccer as seriously as men’s soccer.However most male respondents (within the staff sample)attributed theseobstacles to a cultural ‘attitude’ of soccer in Canada.Elite-level women’s soccer inCanada struggled not because the CSA treated the men ‘better’than the women but90because the people within the CSA lacked the leadership in general to take risks in thedevelopment of soccer overall. Therefore, both elite-level women’s and men’s soccer inCanada has struggled to develop and carve outa place in the Canadian and internationalsporting world.Upon closer examination of some of the recent changes examined here,it cannotgo unnoticed that while Pellerud has worked tirelesslyto secure additional funding foradditional full-time coach positions withinhis program, and worked together withKerfoot to secure a full-time Head coach position withinthe Vancouver Whitecaps FC,each position funded was subsequently filled by a malecoach. This increaseddistribution of resources into the women’sprogram is a step forward for womenin a maleinstitution, but it is a move neverthelessembedded with power relations.Sport organization literature acknowledges howsport has and continues to serveas a male institution where men have accessto leadership and administrative positionsthat influence the development of sportpolicies (Amis, Slack, & Hinnings, 2002; Hall,1999; Hoeber & Frisby, 2001; McKay,1997, 1999; Shaw & Frisby, 2006; White&Young, 1999). Here, the patriarchalbalance of power and control are perpetuated in that— despite elite-level women’s soccer making‘progress’ by achieving increased fundingand an increasingly competitive environmentin which to develop — male coachescontinue to maintain control over the direction ofthe game as well as its financial andprofessional rewards. In her historical examinationof women and/in sport in Canada,Hall (2002) underscores this state of affairs whereso often, “. . .inequitable positionswerenot perceived as problematic by thevery individuals and organizations perpetuatingthem; and rarely did it seem possible to confront the power relations that constitutedsexism...” (Hall, 2002,p.165)9192Chapter 7ConclusionThis study addressed several gaps in the existing literature in both women inlandsport and women’s soccer. In particular, there exists no comprehensive historical archiveof women’s soccer in Canada. The experiences shared by some of the participants in thisstudy demonstrate the rich history of women and/in sport that is waiting to be more fullyexplored. Documenting this history is valuable not only as recognition of the growingimportance of the game of soccer, but in the need to give voice to the hundreds of womenwhose lives and identities have been shaped by their involvement in the game. Thesignificance of ‘voice’ was demonstrated in my most memorable interview with oneplayer participant who became emotional when recalling the manner in which herinternational career concluded. Despite being “retired” for over a decade the player’sidentity was still so deeply shaped and influenced by her experiences in soccer that heremotions were still raw. Not surprisingly, this raw emotion was reflected in eachof theplayer interviews. Although players are not signed to professional contracts,or ‘work’ inprofessional leagues, their participation in soccer is very much a ‘career’ in theprofessional sense. Most revealing was the desire for each player to haveaccess to andcontrol over the pursuit of her own soccer career and feel valued and respectedin herpursuit.Methodologically, in-depth interviews provided an opportunity to gather firsthandaccounts of players’ and staff members’ experiences within elite-level soccer.Eachinterview went over the scheduled time of 45 minutes to one hour with twointerviewslasting three hours long. The length of these interviews suggested that theparticipants93were eager to share their thoughts and ideas with regards to the changing landscape ofelite-level women’s soccer in Canada. Though some participants were at times cautiousin sharing some feelings/opinions others were eager to discuss the issues regarding elite-level women’s soccer and the game of soccer in general in Canada.At this juncture it should be noted that my status as insider perhaps encouragedthe interviews to flow freely; for most of the participants in this study, I had at one timebeen a teammate and a player with whom they worked. My involvementwithin thechanging soccer environment in Vancouver and withinthe national program was onewith which I was familiar and understood primarily froma player’s perspective.However, as a recently retired competitive player this inevitablyshaped my perspectiveand subsequently my position as a knowledge producer. In aninterview with oneparticipant, I asked her to recall the circumstances around her retirementfrom thenational team. After 10 years away from the game, shehad to pause the interview inorder to gather her emotional response; she acknowledgedthat she was still “sensitive”about the situation and that recalling the details still“upset” her. Like this participant,my 24 years as a player and 10 years as a coachhas created a passion and personalinvestment in the game that cannot be detached, turned off,or ignored, despite a desire toremain objective. At the same time, it is this passioncoupled with the need to record thestory of women’s soccer in Canada as well as give voiceto lived experiences of womenwithin the game that needs continual exploration and investigation.The conception of this research project occurredat a time of exciting changewithin elite-level women’s soccer. The Canadian women’snational team had securedsignificant funding and the Full-Time PlayerProgram was just getting underway.94Participants in the study, despite the various ways in which these changes affected theirown lives, expressed overall excitement and optimism that the changes taking place weregoing to move Canada forward in achieving success on the international stage of soccer.Their fourth place finish at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2003 inspired thousands ofsoccer fans; now, with increased funding and training environments goals were set foreven greater success for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Beijing. However, thatevent has come and passed and the result was disappointing. Despite all the changesthathad taken place and the opportunities givento the national team programlplayers, Canadafailed to move out of the first round.Unlike the past however, when funding was cut after inadequate performancesat(or the lack of qualifying for) world events,Kerfoot’s financing and the FTPP remain andnew sights were set on the Olympic Games. On April9, 2008 the Canadian women’snational team achieved their first berth into the OlympicGames and in August 2008,Canada willflyto China to compete in the fourth Olympicappearance of women’s soccerat the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.It is important to note that although this study does examineelite-level women’ssoccer “in Canada” and includes members of the country’snational team program withinits analysis, the research cannot been seen as representativeof all of Canada. Forexample, in 2006 there were three other Canadian franchisesplaying within the WLeague (Ottawa, Laval, and Hamilton). Therefore theexperiences of these competitiveplayers cannot be assumed to be the same as those describedby competitive players fromthe Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Although the Canadiannational team is meant torepresent the best soccer talent in all of Canada, playersfrom British Columbia and95Ontario make up the majority of the women on the team. Also, soccer for women in theVancouver area is a predominantly white, middle-class sport.As a result, only twoparticipants in the study identified as non-Caucasian. In a city (Vancouver) whosemajority population consists of those who are ‘visible minorities’, the absenceof visibleminorities at the elite and international level of women’s soccer, thoughreflective offemale game, are indicative of broader racial and cultural themesnot explored in thisresearch.Finally, with the absence of a professional soccer league for women,the concept of“elite-level” women’s soccer was not a unified termand was defined with considerablesubjectivity. For many of the players withinthis study, ‘elite-level’ ranged fromparticipation on Provincial Teams (Youth), competitionin both the Canadian andAmerican collegiate system, competition inthe W-League, and/or competition at thejunior or senior national levels. One playerparticipant broadly defined elite-levelwomen’s soccer as anyone who trains ona daily basis. Staff members within thisstudyon the other hand, more clearly defined‘elite-level’ women’s soccer to mean playingforone’s country (despite the fact that internationalsoccer constitutes ‘amateur’ soccer)and“treating” their careers as professional(i.e., having their playing career and theircompetitive development as their primarycareer focus). Perhaps that the staff members’professional careers within elite-level women’ssoccer are so clearly defined by ajobdescription and salary lends to the perceivedconsensus of definition. It is in thisway thatconcepts such as ‘career’ and ‘work’ areimplicated in the development and maintenanceof a female’s perception of self, feelings ofvalue and worth, and life experiences asasoccer player.96Future ResearchThe use of “professional” when referring to developing competitive leagues forwomen must be nuanced. In mainstream sport, ‘professional’ refers to people who getpaid for their talent, thus becoming full-time ‘work’. In this way, professional leaguesexist where players are traded and teams as well as players are the ‘product’ marketedand sold for ‘profit’. Take for example “professional” female soccer leagues outsideCanada and the United States such as Germany’s Frauen-Bundesliga; signed to contractswith clubs, women in Germany train daily, have part- and/or full-time coaches(depending on wealth of club), are provided with free kit, have access to trainingfacilities, and budgets that enable the team to travel to league competitions. However,the players in this “pro” league do not receive pay for their work.It is within thisclimate, as national sporting organizations continue to promote women’ssoccer aroundthe worlds, that Williams (2006) cautions:It is a fine balancing act as the bureaucracies attempt to simultaneouslysell themessage of an established female-appropriate sport with great potentialforexpansion in a number of ways but which will proliferatein a manner that posesno threat whatsoever to the highly commercialized world of male professionalfootball. (Williams, 2006,p.157)Future research in this area must therefore ask what constitutes a femaleprofessional athlete, a female professional league, and what role do professionalmaleclubs play and/or should play (if any) in the development of professional femaleclubs(e.g., England’s Arsenal, Vancouver’s Whitecaps FC, and Germany’s FrankfurtFC)?97Along the same lines, how could federal legislation be, if at all, the catalyst for increasedprofessional opportunities for women in sport?In relation to the changes within the landscape of elite-level women’s soccerspecific to Canada, more research needs to focus on best practices to ensure thatdecisions in funding and structure create sustainable, long-term change in thedevelopment and strength of the game.Despite soccer’s global development for females and the increasing literature onthe subject, Williams (2006) writes, “the academic treatment of women’s football is new,unsure and uncertain, with a need for theoretical underpinnings..In ClosingThough declarations by FIFA that for soccer the “future is feminine” along withother research that suggests that soccer is the “game of choice”for girls in Canada,women competing in soccer and in sport in general must notbe used as ‘proof to suggestthat women have achieved equality on the playing field. 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Wagg (Eds.), British Football and SocialChange:Getting Into Europe. London: Leicester University Press.Young, K., & White, P. (2007). Sport and gender in Canada(2h1ded.). Don Mills: OxfordUniversity Press.WebsitesNational Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)www.ncaa.orgCanadian Soccer Association (CSA) www.canadasoccer.comWhitecaps Football Club www.whitecapsfc.comW-League www.w4eague.comWomen’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL)www.wpsl.comNational Association of Intercollegiate Athletics(NAL&) www.naia.orgCanadian Interuniversity Sports www.universitysport.caCONCACAF www.concacaf.org112Appendix 1 — Letter of Initial ContactLetter of Initial ContactSeptember 2006Dear (Name of potential participant),I am a Masters student in the school of Human Kinetics at The University of BritishColumbia. I am currently investigating the recent developments in elite women’s soccerin Canada and am writing to request your assistance. My present research project isentitled: Dreaming of Being: Experiencing the changing landscape of women soccerin Canada.The rationale for this study is grounded in the need to better document and examine howrecent changes in elite women’s soccer are shaping the experiences of female playersandstaff within Canada. Using interview methodology, the project focuses oncollecting andanalyzing the life experiences of those directly involved in elite women’s socceras aplayer or staff personnel (e.g., coach, trainer, administrator, manager, etc.).I am asking for your assistance with this research. You have beenselected as aparticipant in this research project because of your involvement withelite women’ssoccer in Vancouver as well as your involvement with Canada’s Women’s WorldCupTeam (Team Canada). Your knowledge, expertise, and experience in thesport of soccerwill provide vital information and data for this project. Your participation in thisstudywill entail involvement in one interview, approximately 45 to 60 minutesin length.Questions will encompass you explaining your experiences in the sport of soccerand theimpact these experiences have/had on you. I am especiallyinterested in your opinionsabout how recent changes in elite women’s soccer are impacting your experiencesin thesport in Canada.The data obtained from the interviews will be published in a report, academicarticles,and in my Masters thesis. Please be aware that you have the right to ask meto omit anyinformation that you do not wish to be included. The information willhelp informacademics and sports administrators about gender and power relations insoccer and givelight to women’s experiences with these relations.Attached you will find an informed consent form. Please takea moment to look at theform. If you are able to meet with me, please e-mail or telephone me assoon as possibleto establish a suitable meeting time and place. I will telephoneyou in a couple of days tofollow up on this letter. Thank you for your time.Sincerely,113Dr. Patricia Vertinsky Ashley McGheeProfessor (Advisor) Masters StudentSchool of Human Kinetics School of Human KineticsThe University of British Columbia The University of British Columbia114Appendix 2—Information Sheet & Consent FormSeptember____,2006Information Sheet & Consent FormDreaming of Beijing: Experiencing the changing landscape of elite women’s soccerin CanadaResearchers:Dr. Patricia Vertinsky, Professor Ashley McGhee, MA CandidateSchool of Human Kinetics School of Human KineticsThe University of British Columbia The University of British ColumbiaBrief description of the study: This study is intended to providean exploration of elitewomen’s sport participation in Vancouver and Canada and the integral rolethat recentchanges have played in shaping the experiences of elite female players andstaff membersin women’s soccer. I am interested in your past and present personal soccer experiencesas well as your knowledge and expertise on the development of semi-professional andinternational women’s soccer in Vancouver and Canada.Researcher: This study is conducted by Ashley McGhee,a Master of Arts candidate,through the School of Human Kinetics at the University of British Columbia.The Interview: The interview will take anywhere from 45 minutes to onehour in length.Most of the questions are specific to your own experiences in the soccercommunity andspecifically to your involvement in elite women’s soccer in Canada. The interviewwillbe recorded on an audio-cassette.You have been selected as a participant in this research project because of yourinvolvement with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and/or the Canadian Women’sWorldCup Team (Team Canada). In researching the history and development of women’ssoccer in Canada through a variety of sources, including the Canadian SoccerAssociation’s official website and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s official website,yourname appeared as having been extensively involved in elite women’s soccer.Yourknowledge, expertise, and experience in the sport of soccer will provide vital informationand data for this project.115Results: The data obtained from the interviews will be published in a report,academicarticles, and in a Masters thesis. The information will help informacademics and sportsadministrators about gender and power relations inVancouver and Canada’s femalesporting history and give light to women’s experiences with these relations.Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept strictlyconfidential as all documents will beidentified by a code number and kept in a lockedfiling cabinet. The cassette tapes andtranscripts will also be coded and kept in a separate lockedfile. You also have the optionof allowing your name to be acknowledged inthe publications of the collected data.Voluntary Participation: Your participation isstrictly voluntary. You are free to notanswer any question and withdraw from theinterview at any time.Risk: There are no expected risks to participants inthis research project, but as you willbe re-living previous life experiences, sensitive topicsmay arise.Further Contact Information or Concerns: Ifyou have any questions or requirefurther information about the study, please contact AshleyMcGhee.Concerns about the Rights of Research Subjects:If you have any concerns about yourtreatment or rights as a research subject,you may contact the Research SubjectInformation Line in the IJBC Office of ResearchServices at 604-822-8598.PLEASE READ AND SIGN ALLTHAT APPLY ON NEXT PAGE (P.3)116I have read the consentform and understand the nature of the study. I understandthat my participation in this study is strictly voluntary andconfidential and I maywithdraw from participation at any time. I also understand that insigning thisconsent form, I am not signing away any of my legalrights.Your signature below indicates that you have receiveda copy of this consent formfor your own records.Your signature indicates that you consent to participatein this study.Signed:Date:_____________Printed Name of the Participant signing above.I consent to having my responses tape-recorded.Signed:Date:I consent to having my name acknowledged in this projectand understand that my nameand statements may be published.Signed:Date:117Appendix 3 — Biographical FormQUESTIONNAIRE: BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATIONStudy Title: Dreaming of Beijing: Experiencing the changing landscape of women’ssoccer in Canada.Instructions: The following questions are intended to obtain some generalbackgroundinformation about you. Answer all questions as accuratelyas you can. If it is unclearwhat is being asked, please ask for help or clarification from the researcher.1. Age:_______(years)2. Sex: Female Male3. Were you born in Canada?_____ If no, wherewere you born?_______________4. Where is your current permanent residence (city/country)?______________________5. What is your ethnic background?______________________________________6. Please indicate the approximate social economicstatus of the family in which youwere raised:Lower-class______ Lower-Middleclass______Middle-class Upper-Middleclass______Upper-class7. What is your highest education level?Some high schoolSome universityFinished high schoolUniversity degreeSome collegeOther (please specify)College diploma_____________________8. Please identify your current occupation. (Thisincludes part-time work):9. How long have you been (or were you) involvedwith the Vancouver WhitecapsFC and/or the Canadian National Team?118Appendix 4—Interview Guide (Players)Dreaming of Beijing: Experiencing the changing landscape of elitewomen’s soccerin Canada.Thefollowing questions represent a general guidefor interviewswith study participantsin the ‘Player’ sample. All participants will be remindedoftheir voluntary participationin this study and their right to not answer any questions posed.Introduction• How long have you been playing soccer?• What do you consider “elite” level soccer?• When did you first start playing elite levelwomen’s soccer?W-Leaj’ue• How many years have you competed in theW-League?• Can you tell me about some of your initial experiencesin playing with the WFCfranchise?• What was the Staff comprisedof when you first joined the program?• What was your in-season training schedulelike?• While playing for the WFC, did you play forany other teams? WhenlWhere?• In your opinion, what did you think of thehiring of a full-time Head Coach forthe WFC women’s team this past February 2006?• Has (and/or will) this hiring effect you directly?o If so, how does this new position effect you?o How has/will this impact your involvementwith the program?o What have you done/are you doing to deal withthis change?• Do you think this new Head Coach position hasor will influence the WFC and/orthe W-League? If yes, how so?• How has your involvement with the WFCchanged over the years?Team Canada• Have you ever played for Team Canada? Ifyes, for how long?• Describe some of your initial experiencesin playing with Team Canada?119• Who was coaching Team Canada when you first joined the program? Was it afull-time position? If no, why not?• What was the Staff comprised of when you first joined the program?• Describe how training camps and competitions were organized and implementedwhen you first joined Team Canada?• In the past, what was your out-of-camp personal training schedule comprised of?• In your opinion, what did you think when Even Pellerud was first hired as HeadCoach of Team Canada in the fall of 1999?• Did this hiring effect you directly?o If so, how did this new position effect you?o How did this impact your involvement with the program?o How did you feel about this at the time?o What did you do to deal with this change?o How have these experiences changed over the years?• Describe how (and if) you think Pellerud’s involvement with Team Canadahaschanged the program and/or the Canadian Soccer Association?Financials• In the past, how did you support your involvement insoccer?• How do you support your involvement in soccer now?• What is your out-of-camp personal training schedule comprised of now?• Are you, or any other players that you know of, able to negotiate contractswiththe WFC and/or Team Canada?• Do you or any players that you know of on the WFC and/or Team CanadahaveAgents? Why or why not?• Do you or any players that you know of on the WFC and/or TeamCanada haveSponsorships? Why or why not?•In your opinion, what have been the major changesin the WFC and/or TeamCanada since your initial involvement?• Looking back over your entire soccer career, whatdo you think are some of themajor changes in women’s soccer in Canada? Are thesechanges for the better?120Appendix 5— Interview Guide (Staff)Dreaming of Beijing : Experiencing the changing landscape of elite women’s soccerin Canada.Thefollowing questions represent a general guidefor interview participants in the ‘Staff’sample.**Allparticipantswill be reminded oftheir voluntary participation in this studyand their right to not answer any questions posed.Introduction• In your opinion, please describe what you consider to be elite-level women’ssoccer. (If different in North America than in other parts of the world, pleaseexplain.)• How and when did you first become involved with women’s soccer?• Please describe your current and]or most recent involvementwith women’s soccerin Canada.Women ‘s World Cup Proiiram and the Canadian Soccer Association(CSA)• Describe the state of the Canadian Women’sWorld Cup Program when you firstbecame involved.o How were training camps designed?o How often were training camps held and what was the average duration?o How many annual international matches did Canada competein andlorhost?o How many annual international tournaments did Canada competeinand/or host?o What were the training expectations for players outside of trainingcampand competition?o What were the time commitments for the coaching staff?• Describe how these aspects have changed in recentyears?• As someone who has been involved in the Women’sWorld Cup Program for anextended period of time, what were your first impressions of programwhen youcommenced your position?• In your opinion, before you assumed your positionwith the program, how did theCSA and it’s executive committee treat women’s soccer? (E.g., didthe executivecommittee support the program with adequate fundingand resources, etc.?)121• As an integral part of the coaching staff, what were some of the biggestchallenges in developing/strengthening the program? (Describe any instances orscenarios where these challenges were obvious.)• Was there anyone in particular who you felt discouraged the development of theWomen’s World Cup Program? (Describe any instances or scenarios where youfelt this discouragement was obvious.)• How has that treatment changed since your involvement with the program?Funding/Financials for the Women ‘s World Cup Program• If you can recall, please describe the “make-up” of the coaching staff for theWomen’s World Cup program before your arrival.• To your knowledge, were the positions of Head Coach, Assistant Coach,andGoalkeeper Coach, full-time positions before your arrival?• To your knowledge, how much was the previous Coaching Staff beingpaid fortheir positions? (Can you provide an approximate number?)• In your opinion, how has the Coaching Staff changed since you have beeninvolved in the program? (E.g., are the assistant positions consideredfull-time,are the salaries commensurate with the experience/work provided?• Why are these changes to the Coaching Staff important and necessary?(Describeany benefits to the program that are a result of a largerand more full-timecoaching staff.)• To your knowledge, what was the CSA’s annual budget for the Women’sWorldCup Program the year you commenced with the program?• What does that annual budget look like now?•In your opinion, are the players in the National Pool and on your squadadequately compensated for their “work” as international competitors?Greg Kerfoot• Based on your knowledge, please describe Even Pellerud’s relationshipwith GregKerfoot?• What is Greg Kerfoot’s connection with women’s soccer in Canada?122• Greg Kerfoot currently funds a number of the Women’s World Cup Teamplayers, can you please describe this ‘professional player contract’ and how itcame about?• Do you think increased funding for the players is essential in building acompetitive international program? (Describe potential values/abilities that youbelieve appropriate funding for players will foster and develop the program — anyspecific examples?)Women ‘s Soccer in Canada• Outside of Canada’s Women’s World Cup Program, what does competitivewomen’s soccer in Canada look like?• In your opinion, is the W-League (it’s level of competition) and the numberofCanadian teams that exist within the league, sufficient enough for thedevelopment of competitive adult female soccer players inCanada?•In your opinion, how can women’s soccer in Canada continue to grow? (Describeany ideas that you may have that would implement competitive growth inwomen’s soccer in Canada.)Appendix 6 — Ethics Certificate 123IUHCThe University of British ColumbiaOffice of Research Services\.j Behavioural Research Ethics BoardSuite 102, 6190 Agronomy Road, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z3CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL- MINIMAL RISK RENEWALPRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: DEPARTMENT: UBC BREB NUMBER:Patricia A. VertinskyUBC/Education/Human KInetics H06-80308iNSTITUTION(S) WHERE RESEARCH WILL BE CARRIED OUT:Institution SiteuBe Point Grey SiteOther locations where the research will be conducted:N/ACO-INVEStIGATOR(S):kshley MeGheeSPONSORING AGENCIES:N/AI3ROJECT TITLE:Dreaming of Beijing: Experiencing the Changing Landscape of Women’s Soccer in CanadaEXPIRY DATE OF THIS APPROVAL: July 16, 2008[LPPROVAL DATE: July 16, 2007rhe Annual Renewal for Study have been reviewed and the procedures were foundto be acceptablen ethical grounds for research involving human subjects.Approval is issued on behalf of the Behavioural Research Ethics Board


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