Miranda Bellisle is breaking new ground in the Kinsmen Football League.
Representing the Prince Albert RIver Riders, 11-year-old Bellisle is the first female quarterback to suit up in the league.
“It’s pretty exciting from time to time,” said Bellisle, who’s currently on the injured list. “It’s pretty stressful, you have to know what everybody’s doing for every play.”
When asked if she thinks she’s inspiring other girls to take up the sport, she said, “I hope so, it’s a fun sport to play.”
According to her coach Wendell Whitter, quarterback is one of the most demanding positions on the field, but Bellisle is thriving in the position.
When asked how she’s handling the pressure, Whitter said “extremely well.”
“The quarterback needs to have control of the huddle, they need to be able to talk to someone when a mistake is made and she is excellent at it,” he said.
He also noted that her teammates are very accepting of their female QB.
“She’s just one of the guys,” said Whitter. “She may change in a different changing room, she may use a different bathroom—but when she gets on the field, she’s just one of the guys.”
Her father, Ramsay Bellisle said he’s proud of his daughter adding she’s always been a natural athlete.
“Between Football and Judo, it tends to keep her busy and she seems to like the physicalness of both sports … she’s just one of those all around athletes,” he said.
Bellisle could go far in sport if determined
Saskatoon Valkyries head coach, and executive director of Football Saskatchewan, Jeff Yausie says how far Miranda Bellisle advances in the sport as she gets older is a matter of how determined she is.
“I’m sure the doors are open, but the girl really has to be persistent—it depends how bad they want it,” said Yausie. “The player needs to be super gung ho.”
However, he said at such a young age, it’s important for a child to be participating in a number of sports to acquire a wide skill set.